HomeBlogGann TradingDecoding the Time Factor: The Mystery of W.D. Gann

Decoding the Time Factor: The Mystery of W.D. Gann

W.D. Gann possessed a remarkable talent for making accurate yearly predictions about the stock and commodity markets. He attributed his forecasts to a mysterious “time factor.” However, a close examination of his novel, “The Tunnel Thru The Air,” uncovers Gann’s strong belief in the significant influence of celestial patterns. This suggests that astrology forms the actual foundation of Gann’s yearly forecasts. Notably, traces of astrological insights are subtly woven into his writings and teachings. As a result, it becomes clear that if we aspire to replicate Gann’s exceptional forecasting abilities, we should take a page from his book. The path forward involves acquiring an understanding of astrology and then applying this knowledge to navigate the world of stock and commodity markets.


William D. Gann (1878 to 1955) stands as a remarkable figure in the world of stock and commodities trading. An exceptional trader, he held the mantle of a prolific educator, sharing the secrets of turning speculation into a profitable craft. With the authorship of seven books and the creation of two comprehensive courses on navigating the intricacies of stock and commodity markets, Gann’s influence extended far and wide. Yet, his prowess truly shone in his remarkable talent for producing annual forecasts of market trends, providing foresight a year ahead.

Amid his arsenal of impressive predictions, one of the most striking instances was his forecast for the stock market in 1929. Published in November 1928, it boldly and unequivocally predicted the impending “Great Crash” that indeed unfolded in the fall of 1929. Remarkably, Gann continued to demonstrate his forecasting acumen by publishing annual projections for both stock and commodity markets until the eve of his passing in 1955.

Central to Gann’s forecasting methodology was the “time factor,” an enigmatic concept that he harnessed with precision. This elusive term, encapsulating the essence of time’s role in limiting possibilities, served as the cornerstone of his predictions. While Gann was cautious not to unveil the full extent of his technique, he generously shared insights and rules that, if followed, could lead one to success in the stock market. In his own words, “The most important thing of all is the Time factor, which I use in making up my annual forecasts… you will be able to make a success in the stock market” (“Truth Of The Stock Tape,” 1923, page 116).

Drawing from his own unique discoveries, Gann’s charts were no ordinary statistical tools – they were infused with the essence of his “time” factor. This remarkable discovery enabled him to foresee significant market tops and bottoms a year or more ahead of time. His predictions, laid out in annual forecasts for over a decade, demonstrated uncanny accuracy. Not limited to stocks, this “time” factor extended its influence to cotton and grain markets, allowing Gann to anticipate extreme highs, lows, and even minor market oscillations (“Truth Of The Stock Tape,” 1923, page 41 of appendix).

In the legacy of W.D. Gann, we find a master of his craft, a trailblazer who harnessed the power of time itself to unravel the mysteries of market trends, leaving behind a profound impact on the world of trading and investing.

“The time factor and time periods are most important in determining a change in trend because time can over balance price, and when the time is up the volume of sales will increase and force prices higher or lower” (“45 Years In Wall Street”, 1941, page 10).

“Time is the most important factor of all and not until sufficient time has expired does any big move start up or down. The time factor will overbalance both space and volume. When time is up, space movement will start and large volume will begin, either up or down. At the end of any important movement – monthly, weekly or daily – Time must be allowed for accumulation or distribution or for buying and selling to be completed” (“How To Make Profits In Commodities”, 1951, page 56).

In light of Gann’s insights:

  1. Time’s Supreme Role: Gann emphasized time’s pivotal role in market forecasts, underpinning his spot-on annual predictions for stocks and commodities.
  2. The precursor to Change: Time’s influence predates price and volume shifts, shaping market dynamics in advance.
  3. Time’s Veiled Power: Gann guarded time’s secrets, yet shared strategic trading rules to harness its potential for profit.
  4. Harmony of Time and Price: Gann’s legacy echoes the harmonious blend of time and price, orchestrating market symphonies.
  5. Temporal Precision: Mastering time-based insights empowers traders to foresee market shifts with uncanny accuracy.

Gann’s astrological insights: ” The tunnel thru the air”

Intriguingly, Gann’s exploration of the “time factor” in trading literature finds a unique echo in his 1927 novel, “The Tunnel Thru The Air.” This captivating tale follows Robert Gordon’s life against the backdrop of pre-World War II America, subtly weaving in Gann’s profound astrological insights. Gann himself hints at this mystery in the foreword, declaring, “‘The Tunnel Thru The Air’ is mysterious and contains a valuable secret, clothed in veiled language… When you read it the third time, a new light will dawn. You will find the hidden secret… The future will become an open book.”

Embedded within the pages of this novel is Gann’s treasure trove of astrological wisdom. Passages like “Robert was a great believer in Astrology” and “I believe in the stars, I believe in astrology” underscore Robert’s unwavering faith in the celestial influences that shape human destinies.

This cosmic connection gains prominence as Robert’s journey unfolds, marked by his deep involvement with astrology. Akin to a puzzle waiting to be solved, the novel’s layers reveal an unspoken endorsement of astrology’s potent influence.

The artful symbolism on the cover

Gann’s enigmatic message transcends the novel’s narrative and finds expression in its cover art. The artwork features three intriguing elements:

  1. An interlocking compass and setsquare forming a tunnel.
  2. Scales with an hourglass and a price movement.
  3. A series of interlocking squares bridging backgrounds.

Interpreting these symbols:

The Freemasons’ emblem, a compass, and setsquare signifies the heavenly zodiac circle and vital astrological angles. This emblem quietly reinforces astrology’s timeless significance.

Astrological forces, likened to waves through the air, are depicted by the tunnel. The scales, bearing an hourglass and price movement, mirror Gann’s method. He meticulously weighed historical astrological influences to predict their impact on prices.

Interlocking squares symbolize Gann’s observation that a stock’s price unfolds in interconnected squares, aligning with his statement that “Every stock makes tops or bottoms on some exact mathematical point.”

This art suggests that astrological influences traverse the celestial and earthly domains, guiding price movements through an understanding of historical astrological forces.

The insight behind the back cover

The back cover’s illustration provides further depth to Gann’s “valuable secret.” Depicting interlocking squares in the sky and on earth, the art reinforces the principle “As above, so below.” Celestial squares denote astrological influences, while earthly squares symbolize price action in markets. This imagery conveys Gann’s view that astrological squares impact earthly price squares.

A pyramid etched with Gann’s name stands as a bridge between heaven and earth. It symbolizes his role as an observer of celestial squares, predicting their impact on earthly markets. In essence, Gann’s art confirms that astrology, as the Bible suggests, indeed shapes market dynamics.

Gann’s “Time Factor” and astrology

As previously mentioned, Gann’s market forecasts for both stocks and commodities hinged on the “time factor,” a concept that can be described as the “flow of time as a constraint on attainable outcomes.” When we examine astrology’s definition as the “study of the impacts of temporal trends,” a resonance between the time factor and astrology becomes evident. This suggests that Gann leaned towards emphasizing the time factor as the foundation of his forecasts, rather than openly stating his reliance on astrology. This conclusion gains certainty upon a meticulous analysis of Gann’s work “The Tunnel Thru The Air,” where the concealed truth of astrology’s efficacy is revealed.

The rationale behind Gann’s discretion is hinted at in a revealing quote: “Two decades of exhaustive study have led me to comprehend the cause-effect relationship governed by time. This is my guarded secret, too precious for widespread dissemination. Furthermore, the public might not yet be prepared for it.” (Interview with the “Morning Telegraph,” December 1922).

Gann’s decision to keep astrology’s role in his forecasts under wraps can be attributed to several factors:

  1. The principle of utilizing astrology for precise market predictions was an invaluable secret, a result of Gann’s dedicated and prolonged efforts.
  2. Gann firmly believed that his students, akin to himself, should invest significant time and effort into mastering the strategies required to make speculation a lucrative venture.
  3. Recognizing that suggesting astrological influences govern stock and commodity markets challenged conventional wisdom, Gann anticipated potential hostility to this groundbreaking paradigm shift.

This sentiment is underscored in the following statement:

“Evidence suggests that Mr. Gann has introduced a groundbreaking perspective on the principles guiding stock market dynamics. His methodology stems from enduring natural laws, which, though ancient, have only recently been meticulously examined and incorporated into the realm of modern discoveries.

We sought an overview of Mr. Gann’s work and procured compelling evidence of the outcomes it produces. We acknowledge this while realizing that a Wall Street figure with a novel concept – one that challenges tradition and encourages a scientific outlook – is seldom met with open arms by the majority. Such progressive endeavors often incite contemplation and inquiry, which the majority tends to resist.” (Interview with “Ticker & Investment Digest,” December 1909).

Gann’s astrology insights: Delving deeper

W.D. Gann’s revelation in “The Tunnel Thru The Air” that astrology wields real predictive power, implying its pivotal role in his market forecasts, urges us to explore his other works for traces of astrological influence.

  1. Astrological Threads in Gann’s Courses

Gann’s stock and commodity trading courses, while distinct, converge in a chapter titled “The Basis Of My Forecasting Method: Geometrical Angles.” This chapter yields a significant insight:

“In geometry, we use the circle, the square, and the triangle… Each market movement stems from natural laws and causes existing before the effect, discernable years ahead.”

Delving deeper, angles between planets and the zodiac emerge as crucial. Gann’s “Gann angles” aren’t confined to price charts; they involve celestial angles forecasting trends.

  1. Focus on Anniversary Dates and Seasonal Trends

Gann’s seminal works, “45 Years In Wall Street” (1949) and “How To Make Profits In Commodities” (first written 1941, updated 1951), spotlight the significance of anniversary dates and seasonal tendencies. Key excerpts illustrate this:

“My aim in ’45 Years In Wall Street’ is unveiling rules on time periods to guide high and low price predictions. Research reveals stocks change trends significantly in months of extreme highs and lows. These, termed anniversary dates, warrant vigilance each year for pivotal trend shifts.” (Page 92)

“Vital to watch dates of extreme highs or lows in commodities… Begin by monitoring the third or fourth month after an anniversary date, followed by the sixth or seventh month, crucial for spotting major tops and bottoms.” (Page 58)

These statements hold deeper meaning: Specific zodiac points (determined by precise degrees) relate to particular stocks and commodities. The sun, unique in completing a zodiac revolution annually, aspects a zodiac point on the same day each year, forming the bedrock of seasonal trends.

Gann’s emphasis on seasonal tendencies encourages students to grasp the underlying cause—planetary positions, especially their angles to zodiac points (a cornerstone of astrology).

  1. Gann’s Nudge Towards Astrological Study

Gann’s legacy encompasses two “astrology letters.” In January 1954, Gann advised a student to explore astrological influences on soybean markets, noting planetary and longitudinal positions’ role in price resistance. In March 1954, he advised a similar study on coffee markets, inviting students to understand the causes behind trend shifts.

These “astrology letters,” among Gann’s final teachings, abstain from explicit methods. Instead, they encourage independent observation and experimentation. Gann’s teaching approach persists: guiding students toward profitable speculation through guidance, fostering self-driven learning.

In unveiling Gann’s astrological insights, one embarks on a journey to master the intricate dance between celestial forces and market trends.


In conclusion, the legacy of W.D. Gann remains a testament to his unparalleled skill in forecasting stock and commodity market trends. His astute predictions, attributed to the enigmatic “time factor,” take on a new dimension when we uncover the intricate relationship between his insights and the realm of astrology. Through a meticulous analysis of his novel “The Tunnel Thru The Air,” Gann’s strong belief in celestial influences becomes evident, suggesting that astrology indeed forms the foundation of his annual forecasts.

Gann’s teachings and writings subtly reveal the interplay between time, celestial patterns, and market dynamics. His ability to predict major market shifts demonstrates the synergy between his “time factor” and the influence of astrological forces. In his courses, emphasis on geometrical angles and the recognition of anniversary dates and seasonal trends underscore the underlying astrological connections that shape market behavior.

Moreover, Gann’s novel serves as a treasure trove of hidden astrological wisdom. The symbology within its pages and cover art suggests a profound interconnectivity between celestial and earthly realms, hinting at the power of astrology to guide market movements. Gann’s strategic placement of symbolism and allusions underscores his belief in the pivotal role of astrology in his forecasting prowess.

While Gann chose to veil the direct mention of astrology, his reasons are multifaceted. He guarded his invaluable secrets, believing that diligent study and hard work were prerequisites for success. Additionally, he recognized that introducing astrology as a guiding principle would challenge established paradigms and might be met with skepticism and hostility.

In embracing Gann’s legacy, we find a roadmap to master the delicate interplay between celestial forces and market trends. Through an understanding of astrology and its application, we can navigate the complexities of stock and commodity markets with greater insight and precision. Gann’s legacy invites us to explore the hidden dimensions that underpin market movements, encouraging us to delve deeper into the timeless connection between the celestial and the financial. Just as Gann harnessed the power of time and astrology to predict market trends, we too can draw upon this legacy to navigate the dynamic landscape of trading and investing.

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