This article originally appeared in the commemorative issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Astrology published in April 2016. This first issue features articles by Jeffrey Wolf Green, Patricia Walsh, Erin Sullivan, Kristin Fontana, Kaypacha, Bradley Naragon, and many others. To order an electronic version for Kindle or a PDF copy, as well as a variety of printed choices ranging from magazine to paperback, please go here to The School of Evolutionary Astrology website.
“There is only a single, urgent task: to attach oneself someplace to nature, to that which is strong, striving and bright with unreserved readiness, and then to move forward in one’s efforts without any calculation or guile, even when engaged in the most trivial and mundane activities. Each time we thus reach out with joy, each time we cast our view toward distances that have not yet been touched, we transform not only the present moment and the one following but alter the past within us, weave it into the pattern of our existence, and dissolve the foreign body of pain whose exact composition we ultimately do not know.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke (from Letters on Life, p. 7)
Natal astrology centers around the moment of birth, and the arrangement of planets within their cycles ascribed to the curious thing we call a birth chart. From the moment we emerge from the womb, we begin a journey of finding meaning within a strange new world filled with innumerable conditioning influences. We are born into circumstances saturated with the belief systems of the adults who feed us, teach us, and take care of us. We are born into cultures and societies sprung from centuries of religious and philosophical traditions and conflicts. We may grow up in a family aligned with the dominant cultural beliefs of our society, or we may grow up surrounded by belief systems that are not part of the dominant cultural narrative and instead experience oppression. Many of us as we mature and experience life come to the realization that we do not align with the belief system that our surrounding elders have preached to us and judged us by. In Evolutionary Astrology as developed by Jeffrey Wolf Green, the cycle of Jupiter and Uranus involves the nature of beliefs we are conditioned to project upon reality, as well as the process of liberating from past influences in order to find a meaningful vision of life to live from.
Fundamental to the Evolutionary Astrology paradigm developed by Jeffrey Wolf Green is the need of the Soul to feel secure. Through Jupiter and its archetype, the Soul gains a feeling of security through projecting beliefs upon Creation in order to compensate for lacking actual understanding. These projected beliefs are typically influenced by various strands of consensus belief systems surrounding the individual in their present circumstances, consensus belief systems that often are out of alignment with ultimate understanding. Since the consensus belief systems conditioning the individual often involve moral principles of judgment, there can be a danger that one can be made to feel guilty and ashamed for expressing authentic feelings such as love for someone that consensus religious doctrine labels as taboo. This can then lead to a crisis for the Soul, as the beliefs it has been following to gain a sense of security come into conflict with the deeply felt desires coming from within.
Jupiter in Evolutionary Astrology further correlates with gaining actual knowledge and understanding through experience that makes certain beliefs unnecessary for security, as the Soul comes to gain secure knowledge from its own experience. Since the Soul also has a need to understand its own nature, and this can then extend to also desiring to understand the nature of Creation itself, at crucial times the Soul will rebel against consensus beliefs that do not resonate with the personal truth being received from experience. Similar to the concept of individuation developed by Carl Jung, it becomes vital for the Soul to decondition from repressive consensus beliefs and affirm the ability to live life authentically. The cycle between Jupiter and Uranus can help foster individuation, as their interplay connects with transformative breakthroughs that can feel unsettling at first, but ultimately liberating. Here the word “transformative” is not used lightly, as Uranus is a force that can inflame Jupiter beyond the boundaries of Saturn to grasp insight unavailable in our former framework.
The work of Dane Rudhyar in astrology, who was also influenced by the work of Carl Jung, created a foundational understanding that Jeffrey Wolf Green built upon with his system of Evolutionary Astrology. Rudhyar viewed Jupiter as the soulful function of our purpose within the form of our Saturn structure. Rudhyar emphasized that Jupiter cannot be interpreted separately from its relationship with Saturn, as Jupiter receives, manages, and initiates within the boundaries of Saturn. Rudhyar described Jupiter as helping us to integrate what the external world has to offer that will contribute to our inner structure, just as Jupiter needs the protective structure of Saturn in order to operate from within. Along these lines, Jupiter organizes the chaos of life within the structure of our consciousness through love and yearning, through our intuition and imagination, through abstract conceptualization and image-based feelings, and through nonlinear awareness.
As a result, while Jupiter expands us, the contraction of Saturn in response tends to keep our growth confined to the current framework that for most has been heavily conditioned by surrounding culture. In Uranus – Master of Transformations Dane Rudhyar brilliantly described how Uranus can shatter the structures of Saturn to new awareness:
“Jupiter cannot change radically the structure set by Saturn. It can only “modify” its outer appearance and the quality and balance of the organic forces which operate within that structure.
Uranus, on the contrary, deliberately and directly challenges Saturn’s power: its exclusivism, its particularity, its rigidity. It “pierces through” Saturn and throws upon the inside walls of the conscious ego images of the more universal and freer world which extends outside of these walls. Thus a two-fold operation: the piercing through — then the projection of images. The first phase may manifest in many ways; perhaps through slow stages of progressive thinning out of the Saturnian shells — so that these become finally like translucent window-panes through which the consciousness centered within the shells may behold vistas of the beyond. In other cases, the Uranian action is sharp and explosive. It bores, through the walls of the ego, holes, telescopes, microscopes, channels through which the “flashes of intuition”, the “inspiration of genius”, may suddenly reveal themselves to the Saturn-bound consciousness.”
— Dane Rudhyar from Uranus – Master of Transformations
Rudhyar’s conception of Uranus imploding our Saturn structure is foundational to the meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle in Evolutionary Astrology, as these Uranian impulses allow Jupiter to expand our sense of meaning and vision beyond the former constraints of Saturn. Yet the influence of Saturn is still needed to structure and manifest these far-flung insights into forms that can be understood and utilized by those surrounding us in our collective.
In Jeffrey Wolf Green’s Evolutionary Astrology, Uranus is the long term memory mind of our Soul- meaning not just all of the memories from our own lifetime beyond the ones we consciously remember this moment, but all of the memories from all of the past incarnations of our Soul. Green explained this is similar to how we do not even consciously remember every single thing that happened to us yesterday, and our long term memory becomes even more imprecise every following day, week, year, and decade. Yet these long term memories remain held by Uranus, and a memory formerly blocked can suddenly come like a bolt of Uranian lightning into our consciousness through the boundary Saturn governs with our subconscious.
In these ways Green equated the Uranus archetype with the concept of the individuated unconscious of the Soul developed by Carl Jung that correlates with the unique content of each Soul. These long term memories of the entire history of the Soul are absolutely vital to consider in Evolutionary Astrology, as they ultimately condition the majority of our conscious thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and desires. It is primarily our Saturn, our structure of consciousness, that to Green filters out these soul memories covering immense periods of time, so as not to overwhelm us. As we have all collectively through ages experienced great trauma in past incarnations, this function of Saturn serves a purpose of protecting us from being overwhelmed by past memories of trauma we cannot control. Yet though we may utilize the filter of Saturn in defense, this unconscious material can nonetheless condition us into staying stuck in restrictive thought patterns of belief such as “I have to have control,” “I cannot trust anyone,” or “the universe is targeting me because I am a bad person.” Clearly, the archetypal meaning of Uranus has a direct influence on the archetypal meaning of Jupiter and the manner in which we project beliefs in our life.
Planetary Nodes of Jupiter and Uranus
We can look to not only the natal placement of Uranus to unveil how Soul memories held in the subconscious condition us in the moment, but also look to the South Node of Uranus. Since the South Node of Uranus for everyone alive today is in Sagittarius, and therefore ruled by Jupiter, this means that the natal placement of Jupiter provides important information concerning how our current vision of life is conditioned by long term memories of the Soul. This is a key point to ponder and realize that the Jupiter vision of life we develop is not only conditioned by familial and cultural influences, but also by significant Soul memories and the full meaning of the Uranus archetype, including the South Node of Uranus by aspect and house position. Since the full evolutionary arc of Uranus as revealed by its natal position as well as nodal positions in the chart also illuminates where we have experienced trauma, it follows that past trauma plays a significant role in shaping our Jupiter vision of life until we are able to process it and activate the “freedom from the known” aspect of Uranus developed in Evolutionary Astrology.
Jeffrey Wolf Green in his system of Evolutionary Astrology connected the meaning of the South Nodes of both Uranus and Jupiter with the collective trauma that occurred in the transition of humans from being a nomadic, tribal people into the formation of agricultural civilizations. Green has written that the South Node of Uranus in Sagittarius correlates with the time period in which humans were nomadic, whereas the North Node of Uranus being in Gemini correlates with the philosophies humans created while transitioning into agricultural communities. The North Node of Uranus in Gemini therefore relates to how the projected religions, philosophies, and ethics were focused on facilitating the organization of people into collective societies that eventually turned into the nation states we have today. Along these same lines, Green has written that the South Node of Jupiter being in Capricorn correlates with the cosmologies that were developed in the transition to these agricultural societies (note: there are some born in the past century who have their geocentric South Node of Jupiter at the final degree of Sagittarius- this still signifies the development of belief systems coinciding with the transition from nomadic groupings into agricultural communities).
So what does all of this have to do with us today? For one, it means that for ages human beings have been developing belief systems around trying to control and regulate, in a Capricorn manner, the interactions of humans within societies. This point is further emphasized by the South Nodes of both Saturn and Pluto also being in Capricorn. As a result, we all hold subconscious (Uranus) memories that extend through the South Node of Uranus into the nomadic time period of humanity that predated the development of agricultural civilizations. This necessitates at times for our experience of the Uranus archetype to come into conflict with the myriad consensus belief systems in place focused upon the way human beings should interact with one another in society. When our vision of life fueled by the knowledge we are gaining from our personal experience (Jupiter) comes into conflict with the norms dictated by consensus belief systems (Capricorn – where Pluto is currently transiting and the location of the South Nodes of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto) we arrive at a crux in which we can feel judged, ashamed, and guilty or could instead rebel and individuate with self assertion in the direction of the vision being felt within.
The Jupiter and Uranus cycle not only leads us to rebel from consensus beliefs, however, but also brings us into contact with philosophies and visions that resonate with our Soul. For many it is vital to establish relationships outside one’s family and cultural circumstance with kindred spirits who feel as if they are part of one’s “Soul family.” The manner in which Jupiter and Uranus can make these connections can be sudden and unexpected, nonlinear and image based. For example, all it may take is an indescribable look in the eye of a photograph to notice something in a figure from another time period or culture whose essence magnetizes our interest. Through the glimpse of a painting, the sound of a song, the prose of a poem, or innumerable other gateways, we feel something within our Soul light up in recognition of a kindred Soul quality. Through streams of associations that lead us to further associations, we begin to gather around us a library of resources from which we can structure a belief system and philosophy through which to live that aligns with our Soul desires.
When considering how all of this fits into your natal chart, look at the house position and aspects formed by both Jupiter and Uranus and then synthesize this understanding with the phasal relationship between Jupiter and Uranus in your chart. Eventually you can also then take into account the house positions and aspects made by the South Nodes and North Nodes of Uranus and Jupiter. Regarding the aspect between Jupiter and Uranus in the chart, start with the basic meaning of their phasal relationship outlined in the first two books on Pluto written by Jeffrey Wolf Green: are they New Phase, First Quarter Phase, Disseminating Phase, or Balsamic Phase? For example, if Jupiter is in a Crescent Phase to Uranus it would mean that you are bringing in a new vision this lifetime that will require you to foster support for persisting in the new vision so as to not be pulled back into the restrictions of the past. In contrast, if you are born with Jupiter in a Balsamic Phase to Uranus, it would be more about a great clearing occurring this lifetime regarding the myriad belief systems that have played significant roles in conditioning the manner in which your Soul projects beliefs. Going into analysis of all of the aspects that can be created by natal Uranus and Jupiter is beyond the scope of this article, however.
Current Cycle between Jupiter and Uranus
In this article I am focusing on the meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle in transit, meaning the aspect formed by transiting Jupiter with transiting Uranus. This is different than the meaning of the aspects made by transiting Uranus or Jupiter to your natal placements. For example, you may have been born with Jupiter in Aries in the same degrees where Uranus is currently transiting. This would amplify the intensity of the transiting Jupiter and Uranus cycle for you, making your Jupiter under the influence of Uranus more dramatically than if Uranus was not in aspect to your natal Jupiter. However, going into the meaning of all the aspects that transiting Jupiter and Uranus could make to your natal placements of Jupiter and Uranus is also beyond the scope of this article.
Currently we are in the Gibbous phase of the transiting cycle of Jupiter and Uranus, within a cycle that began in 2010 at the end of Pisces and the beginning of Aries. This means that we are building toward our experience of the full meaning of their current cycle that will occur with Jupiter in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries at the end of 2016 and throughout 2017. Their current cycle began at the first degree of Aries on June 8, 2010, coming into additional conjunctions on September 19, 2010 at 29 degrees of Pisces and on January 4, 2011 at 28 degrees of Pisces. As a result, from 2010 through 2011 we entered into a New phase between Uranus and Jupiter that would have correlated with a burgeoning sense of a new vision felt from within. This new vision would have been felt on an instinctual level, and while it would have lacked a sense of complete clarity, we would have felt compelled to spontaneously act from it in as many directions as possible. However, although we would have been called to pursue various strands of the new beliefs being stirred up from within, unless we were fortunate it is likely that there was a lack of structures in place at that time in which to ground and manifest the full range of what we could feel internally.
The developing vision we began to sense in 2010 was especially powerful as it also involved the ingress of Uranus in Aries. Uranus in Aries is strident in the face of restrictions, and so as obstacles arose as restraining influences on the vision emerging out of the new cycle between Jupiter and Uranus in the years that followed, we could have felt mental anguish, agony, or anger.
First Quarter Phase
A few years later when we arrived at the “crisis in action” signified by the First Quarter square between Uranus in Aries with Jupiter in Cancer, we found ourselves in an extremely catalytic astrological atmosphere that also involved a First Quarter square between Pluto in Capricorn with Uranus in Aries. The First Quarter square between Jupiter in Cancer and Uranus in Aries first occurred on August 21, 2013 at 13 degrees, then again on February 26, 2014 at 11 degrees, and finally on April 20, 2014 at 14 degrees. At this First Quarter square between Jupiter and Uranus, we would have still been in the process of exploring numerous potential paths involving our developing vision, but the creation of forms and structures through which to express the vision would have become a necessity.
The final First Quarter square formed by Jupiter and Uranus in April 2014 was extraordinary in magnitude, as it occurred as part of a Cardinal Grand Square involving Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, Mars retrograde in Libra, and Pluto stationing retrograde in Capricorn. As a result, the creative tension that is always part of the First Quarter phase would have been amplified, with old patterns of thought enticing us to remain in the status quo while simultaneously our developing vision would have sparked desire to establish new forms through which to enter into a liberated unknown. Thus the First Quarter square aspect between Jupiter in Cancer and Uranus in Aries, that also involved a Full opposition between Jupiter with Pluto in Capricorn, led to an examination of the beliefs we were living from and whether or not we were living from a sense of conformity to the inherited values of the society, family, friends, and associations surrounding us. In addition, the simultaneous transit of Saturn in Scorpio facilitated realization regarding any cultural taboos that were overly restrictive and in reality were not something that needed to be honored with conformity. Through the First Quarter square between Jupiter and Uranus, the 2013 to 2014 time period initiated a critical analysis of the core meaning of our experience, a re-formulation of personal beliefs in accordance, and incited desire to build the structures and forms needed to manifest the developing vision.
Currently in 2016 we are in a Gibbous phase between Jupiter in Virgo and Uranus in Aries that also involves a Last Quarter square between Jupiter and Saturn in Sagittarius, a Full opposition between Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, and a Last quarter square between Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius. The t-square between Jupiter in Virgo with Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces will create disillusionment that fosters a vital reorientation of vision being developed within the cycle of Uranus and Jupiter. In Jeffrey Wolf Green’s Evolutionary Astrology, the purpose of experiencing disillusionment is to ultimately make it possible to align ourselves to a greater extent with the actual truth and meaning of anything. One of the central tenets of Jeffrey Wolf Green’s work is that through the Jupiter and Neptune archetypes humans can create any illusion or delusion that they want to believe in. It is through Jupiter in Evolutionary Astrology that we gain knowledge through direct experience of the actual truth, rather than through the projection of beliefs. As Neptune in Pisces dissolves old structures of thought, and we enter into the “crisis of consciousness” signified by the Last Quarter square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius, we will experience a humbling process of needing to admit what we do not know and open ourselves to new understanding.
Indeed, the Gibbous phase that Jupiter in Virgo will be in with Uranus in Aries for most of 2016 is about gaining humility and preparing the Soul to interact in society as an equal, in order to effectively express and integrate the developing vision into the surrounding social context. Jeffrey Wolf Green has emphasized that this humbling is needed in order to make adjustments to overly willful and inflated desires, a potential that is very possible when dealing with the dynamic combination of Jupiter with Uranus. The purpose behind the Gibbous re-adjustment is to analyze the structure of the surrounding social environment in order to discern how to integrate our developing vision into work or service that is needed by the greater whole. At this phase of the transiting Jupiter and Uranus cycle, we can feel passionate about a vision that has felt destined, yet also feels challenged by overwhelming obstacles. It is important during this Gibbous phase to persist in pursuit of our developing vision, continuing to build the skills needed to manifest the meaning of the cycle during the forthcoming Full phase.
Full Phase Opposition
Jupiter in Libra will finally enter its Full phase opposition with Uranus in Aries on December 26, 2016. Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries will come in and out of the Full phase during 2017, finally entering the Full phase for good in September 2017. While the Full phase is always about managing opposing desires for external relationships versus internal independence, this conflict will be further exacerbated by Jupiter being in the relationally oriented sign of Libra and Uranus being in the independently oriented sign of Aries. During this phase we will explore the full meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle that began in 2010, and as relationships will be essential for us to discover this meaning, it will also be necessary at times to withdraw from the social sphere in order to reconnect with our inner vision. Fortunately, at the same time that Jupiter in Libra reaches its Full opposition with Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Sagittarius will form a Disseminating trine with Uranus on December 24, 2016. The combination of Saturn in trine to Uranus, as Jupiter opposes Uranus, brings the potential to liberate our personal vision from the restraints of our past framework, healing our past issues in the process. At this crucial evolutionary gate, Jupiter will be at 21 degrees of Libra, Uranus will be at 21 degrees of Aries, and Saturn will be at 21 degrees of Sagittarius. The challenges that will be experienced during 2016 in the buildup to Jupiter reaching this first opposition to Uranus in their current cycle, will ultimately enrich the flowering of meaning and vision we can give birth to at the end of 2016.