Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

‘Saz’-Style Drawing of a Dragon (ca. 1540–50) by Shah Quli

Scorpio Lunar Eclipse

“Fate, up against your will . . . “

from “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen

Total lunar eclipses are one of the most striking visual phenomenons of night, as the usually bright, silvery Moon turns bloody, crimson red. The reddening likeness to blood speaks to the catalytic life force that can be released through personal storylines during times of eclipses, with major new developments and desires often overturning the familiar into directions careening off course into a great unknown. There can be passions of eros present as well as overwhelming emotional tides of psyche unleashed that can make a sense of stability difficult to sustain. Dragons have long been a symbol for the chaotic creation unleashed by eclipses, linking the Moon being consumed by shadow with the image of a dragon devouring her light. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail, mirroring the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. The changes that come during periods of eclipses similarly require us to release fixation upon elements of life passing away, while simultaneously the promise of new forms coming together can be felt. The Total Lunar Eclipse on May 15 or 16, depending upon your time zone, is particularly potent in terms of its disintegrative and dissolving impact, corresponding with much larger and sweeping tides irrevocably altering our collective landscape.

According to the essential dignity scheme, Scorpio is a place where nothing is exalted and where the Moon has her fall. Planets and lights in their fall are brought down to low lying places, depressions in the ground and of the mind, yet within their subterranean journey they come to terms with matters that cannot be reached anywhere else. The Moon in her fall of Scorpio feels things intensely and deeply, necessitating a descent into buried emotions and previously hidden sources of information and insight. The eclipsed Moon at 25º17’ Scorpio will have only barely passed through her own South Node at 22º22’ Scorpio when her opposition with the Sun becomes exact.  The nodes of the Moon are intersections between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that forms the zodiac belt) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit. While the nodes of the Moon demarcate the places of eclipses whenever a New Moon or Full Moon forms in close proximity, they also mark dynamic points of change in lunar latitude that have been tracked by astrologers as far back as the cuneiform tablets utilized by ancient Mesopotamian sky watchers. When the Moon passes through her own south node, it means she has descended from northern latitude to cross the ecliptic en route to traveling as far south as possible within her orbit.

Thus not only does the Moon in her fall symbolize descent, the fact that the Moon is crossing the ecliptic to descend into southern latitude through the gate of her south node further signifies descending into depths. Releasing, emptying, purging, detoxifying, decluttering and decomposing are all typical keywords that astrologers generally link to lunar eclipses aligned with the south node. Similar to how the south node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in Vedic astrology, Dane Rudhyar also described the south node as a place of sacrifice as in “making sacred” rather than egoic sacrifice in which we expect something in return.  When the Moon descends across her south node from northern into southern latitude, it is as if the entire arc of material being assimilated since the most recent union with the north node (in this case the recent Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30) becomes focalized for processing and release. Rudhyar further stated that positive relational material can become assimilated and integrated to produce new seeds of values and experiences when the Moon passes through her own south node, whereas there will be a disintegrative release of more negative relational material.

During the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse the Sun at 25º17’ Taurus will be closely aligned with the North Node of the Moon at 22º22’ Taurus, casting the shadow of Earth across the face of the Moon. Since the Moon holds memories and material from our past as well as unconscious patterns we have been replicating, the alignment of the Moon with her own south node can facilitate a release of past accumulated material as new developments, desires, and presence emerge through the alignment of the Sun with the North Node. Due to the Sun being co-present with Uranus in Taurus while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, the breakthrough experiences arising in the wake of the eclipse could feel like stepping off a precipice into untold potential like the Fool arcanum in tarot. The trine between the Sun with Pluto as well as the sextile between the Lunar Eclipse and Pluto can help in letting go of resistance to the transformational impact of Pluto that ultimately empowers despite needing to face fears of having to let go of familiar sources of stability in the process.

There has been a long string of previous full moons in aspect with Pluto since the Pisces Full Moon last September 20, 2021 that was sextile Pluto: the Full Moon in Aries square Pluto on October 20, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on January 18 opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 trine Pluto, and the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 square Pluto. Combined with the extended relationship between Venus with Pluto from December through early March due to Venus passing through her retrograde phase, we have collectively journeyed through a long stretch of needing to surrender to the underworld processes of decay and regeneration brought by Pluto. With the Scorpio Lunar eclipse sextile Pluto, whether we are feeling a new sense of power to claim or feeling powerless in the face of difficult challenges, by facing whatever issues are arising and staying present rather than avoiding through denial or resistance, there will be opportunities for integrating a deeper sense of resilient empowerment out of any experiences of loss or letting go.

The aspect that makes the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio especially jarring is that it is forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Saturn is moving slower than normal in preparation for stationing retrograde on June 4, bringing increased gravity into the tension formed by the star of Kronos with the eclipse. Saturn’s penetrating gaze and sinuous contemplation will be interfacing with the emotional dynamics and life changes unleashed in correspondence with the eclipse. Saturn demands the taking of responsibility and claiming of authority in acting with accountability and integrity. Yet with emotions and fears collectively running high due to multiple economic crises, polarizing political conflict, and violent warfare, Saturn grinding its motion to a halt while occupying the southern bending of the lunar nodes speaks to the potential for fears and overwhelming emotions having a dissolving impact upon the required boundaries, structures, and dutiful work needed to be implemented. The harsh square aspect between Saturn with the eclipse will make things real, forcing to the surface underlying emotional dynamics and previously hidden material that can be utilized to reassess boundaries within relationships as well as the needed use of time and space in our daily work and relating.

The longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that dominated the volatile astrology of 2021 and will continue to do so throughout 2022 is acutely triggered by the present eclipse season, as the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 was applying to a conjunction with Uranus and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is in a close square aspect with Saturn. There are innumerable sources of rage and grief occurring around the world and within personal storylines, making the process of grieving and processing emotional content especially intense with the Moon also being eclipsed within her fall of Scorpio. Saturn’s tension with the eclipse can bring guidance in how to work with the grief and difficult emotions in ways that can help channel them into needed work and care within our communities and personal circles. Saturn will be bringing lessons in how to sustain the persevering resilience required to patiently, consistently, and reliably persist in building the life we desire for ourselves while contributing to the creation of the kind of world we wish to live in through embodying our most essential values within our thoughts and actions.

tapestry by Leonora Carrington

While the Lunar Eclipse is making a harsh aspect with Saturn, it is forming a flowing trine aspect with Mars and Neptune in Pisces. Mars rules the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse while applying to a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces that will become exact on May 17. The direct channel between the watery Scorpio eclipse and its fiery ruler Mars occupying the extremely passionate, final decan of Pisces can create a tipping point within emotional dynamics that require care and compassion. With Mars closely conjoining Neptune, many may feel a need to dissociate or escape from difficult emotional challenges and entanglements. Pay attention to what can be a healthy distraction or emotionally nurturing pursuit versus forms of escapism that will only lead to becoming further stuck in the quagmires of Scorpio. Mars with Neptune in Pisces ruling such a potent eclipse can also swing toward victimizing and blaming behavior or becoming overly self-righteous and aggressively crusading with belief.

Mars is not only applying toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces but also an integrative sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Altogether these aspects can also facilitate taking inspired action rooted within one’s spiritual as well as personal relationships, finding ways for sources of spirit and imagination to open a larger view of reality and future goals to work through. The alignment between Mars and Neptune is occurring near the same place where there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on April 12. Whatever new dreams and visions of creative possibility or insight were experienced during the time of Jupiter and Neptune coming together will likely be experiencing an acceleration of development with Mars now coming into contact with Neptune. There will also be a need to contend with whatever disruptions to life structures and relationships were created by the impact of Jupiter and Neptune dissolving the familiar while opening awareness to exciting new possibilities.

In contrast to the ruler of the eclipse and the South Node of the Moon, Mars, forming a conjunction with Neptune, the ruler of the North Node of the Moon in Taurus, Venus, is in close proximity with Chiron in Aries. Venus and Chiron in Aries bring up the wounds we hold within our numerous relationships with humans and the other-than-human, the collective wounds involving the separation of humanity from nature as well as the way our wounds and trauma create separations within our personal relationships. Although Venus and Chiron in Aries can activate relational wounds, they also hold the medicine within their union for discovering the agency required to tend and work through the wounding we carry. Venus and Chiron in Aries also can nurture extraordinary resiliency in bearing one’s personal wounding in order to take action on behalf of what we love and desire to create. Take whatever space is needed for rest and restoration during the time period around the eclipse, finding the relationships in which mutual support and listening are present to engage in.

The Pomps of the Subsoil by Leonora Carrington

Adding to the subterranean quality of the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is the fact that Mercury is retrograde in Gemini. Mercury is at the threshold of his retrograde journey when he crosses into his phase of combustion with the Sun, entering his most intense psychopomp phase of putrefaction and regeneration as the Moon turns blood red. Fortunately, Mercury is also applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries that will become exact on May 19. The sextile between Mercury with Jupiter can bring support for attending to whatever issues become stirred up by the eclipses so that we can better understand how to situate ourselves within the life changes we are experiencing. Furthermore, within a week of the eclipse on May 21, Mercury will pass through his regenerative conjunction with the Sun which will bring a reanimation of ideas, seeds for new visions of development, and greater clarity concerning the changes being experienced.

Jupiter in Aries is also receiving Ceres through a catalyzing square aspect in his exaltation of Cancer. Ceres in Cancer in square with Jupiter is another indication of difficult emotional content being brought to the surface for processing and grieving, yet also speaks to the potential of finding ways to take action on behalf of one’s values of care for others in the wider community. Jupiter occupying the first degree of Aries and Ceres occupying the first degree of Cancer place them on the equinox and solstice points of the cardinal axis, pointing to the likelihood that numerous issues relating to the tension between Jupiter and Ceres will become manifest in personal and collective events. Making their dynamic even more powerful is the fact that Uranus in Taurus is occupying the midpoint between Ceres and Jupiter while also at the cross-quarter, fifteenth degree of Taurus. The collective tragedies and crises emerging in timing with the eclipse will have an especially shattering emotional impact as a result, revealing the fault lines of collective issues that need attention and will be the sources of further conflict if left unaddressed. On a personal level, the dynamic between Jupiter, Ceres, and Uranus can activate acute awareness of old emotional patterns in need of release in order to step more fully into the dynamic creative potential emerging.

7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Scorpio associated with the Seven of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The third face of Scorpio has an amplified alchemical quality that is well suited for the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio. Ruled by Venus and the Moon, it is a decan in which we must come to terms with the essential desires driving us through experiences of loss and decay, revealing the heart of whatever matters we are facing in the process. In the image of the Seven of Cups each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers. The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire that cast the shadowy veil of the material world we traverse while often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image. Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity needed to make choices aligned with our inner values and desires.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires. Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that the essence of this face involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire itself. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

 In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the curious deity Kairos to the third face of Scorpio. You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time. Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect. The presence of Kairos in the third face of Scorpio points toward the importance of being in touch with the ripening of the moment and taking action on behalf of our true desires ripening instead of refraining out of fear.

T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets linked the Seven of Cups tarot card with the third decan of Scorpio through the power “to transform what is broken, spent, and corrupted into something new and beautiful,” writing that “the way to reap the Seven of Cups’ treasure is to pay your tribute in the form of art: paint, write songs, make music, poetry, dance.” Chang wrote that Venus ruling the third face of Scorpio reveals her secret strength in this decan for works of imagination that see beyond appearances, such as when “the painter who captures the fleeting vision of her inner eye metabolizes her inspiration into art.” Artistic processes and creativity of all forms will be one way to process the material coming up in the weeks surrounding the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. As the meaning of the third decan suggests, the more deeply we can come into relationship with the material and our associated desires, the greater potential we will have for shedding what needs released from the past in order to experience a renewal and regeneration of our true desires.

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.

Capricorn New Moon

Nereid riding a Sea Goat, Greek bronze from 4th Century B.C.

Capricorn New Moon

Though the beginning of every lunar cycle is a cyclical cusp of renewal to cross, the New Moon in Capricorn on January 2 is more transitional than normal as it will announce the beginning of a new year as well as new cycles with both the Moon and Venus. The threshold guardian Janus with his two faces simultaneously looking forwards and backwards will be strongly felt within the darkness of the lunation, as old memories and patterns will become deeply felt at the same time that new desires for future growth contend with the familiarity of the past. The presence of Pluto has been radically reshaping the landscape of Capricorn ever since 2008, with the more recent alignment of Saturn, Jupiter, and the South Node of the Moon with Pluto during 2020 bringing about a total reshaping of global civilization at the same time we experienced our own individual transfiguration. With Venus presently retrograde in Capricorn and applying toward a conjunction with the Capricorn New Moon, there will be a need to embrace nonlinear perceptions and feelings, reaching back into the depths of our past at the same time as we envision a more authentically creative direction forward.

The dark forests and alpine terrain of Capricorn encourages the development of strategies to deal with the challenges of life as well as the mental fortitude to bear suffering while persevering toward goals. Yet its living image of the Sea Goat speaks to the more complex capacities of Capricorn for entering the dissolution of chaotic processes at the heart of creation, as the Sea Goat’s watery tail can draw vision from imaginal sources that bring about a necessary renewal and reordering of material being reshaped on the dry land of everyday life. The strength of Capricorn for constructing effective boundaries can be utilized for creating space to deepen into a letting go of old forms of identity and security, allowing whatever wild off shoots from inner fertility need to emerge. Due to the interplay between the lunation with the present state of Venus retrograde in Capricorn, it will be necessary to accept the mystery of present emotions and events rather than insisting on gaining certainty or a quick fix. Venus has much more to reveal in the coming weeks.

Venus stationed retrograde within close range of Pluto on December 19, forming her second conjunction with Pluto within two weeks on December 25. Since then Venus has been slowly moving away from Pluto and towards the flames of the Sun, intensifying the presence of the star of Aphrodite in our lives. You may be simultaneously experiencing inner desires lit by the approaching heat of the Sun while also undergoing a purgation of what needs to be burned off from the past. Venus is still only three degrees away from Pluto during the Capricorn New Moon, and so while Venus may still be hearing the chthonic siren songs of underworld desires within the darkness of the lunation, her approaching union with the Sun on January 8 will demarcate a slow shift away from the pull of old relational patterns stirred up by her close proximity with Pluto. During the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, the sensual sultriness and inner wildness of Capricorn will be available to explore as part of coming into relationship with the new desires and values that we will be continuing to develop in the months ahead.

The Capricorn New Moon is closely separating from an invigorating trine aspect with Uranus retrograde in Taurus and applying toward a sextile with Neptune in Pisces and a conjunction with Venus and Pluto in Capricorn; these aspects amplify the breakthrough quality of the lunation, whether in relation to old memories and patterns or becoming more deeply stirred by present desires emerging. The harmonious aspect between the Capricorn New Moon with Neptune can facilitate imaginative engagement with the flux of desires, using the felt sense of images, films, music, and other artistic or creative processes to deepen into awareness of what needs to be let go from the past to clear space for new growth to take root. The strange, magical quality of time that can be experienced during Venus retrograde will be bringing opportunities to make foundational alterations in your relationship with Capricorn, eventually bringing awareness for how to claim greater authority and agency in creatively reshaping your direction in the year ahead. Yet within the coming weeks we may first need to confront the challenges to our future growth lurking within the shadows, necessitating a descent into whatever material within our interior depths needs our attention.

The Sibyl and a Child Bearing a Torch (1520-40) unknown artist after Ugo da Carpi

Less than a week after the Capricorn New Moon on January 8 we will experience a rebirth of Venus, as she will be reanimated by her union with the Sun at 18º43′ Capricorn. Demetra George in Ancient Astrology wrote that “the protected space at the heart of the Sun is the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations,” symbolizing the felt sense of mystery and revelation that may be felt when the Sun and Venus come together. Venus will be enthroned within solar light, bringing about a purification that can help in receiving greater clarity regarding the inner metamorphosis of Venus that has been in process. It will be worthwhile to reflect upon the placement of 18º43′ Capricorn in your natal chart to gain a sense of what areas of your life may be especially impacted by the renewal of Venus on January 8.

The inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 demarcates the shift from Venus away from being in her Evening Star phase into entering her Morning Star phase. Her inferior conjunction also places Venus upon one point of the five pointed star pattern that Venus forms within the five inferior conjunctions she forms every eight years while retrograde in between our orbit with the Sun, as well as within the five superior conjunctions she forms every eight years while moving direct on the other side of our orbit around the Sun. The nonlinear nature of the solar conjunctions formed by Venus can often resurrect memories and patterns associated with the stories taking shape in our lives during previous alignments of Venus with the Sun. For example, it will be helpful to reflect upon whatever storylines were taking shape when the present Evening Star phase of Venus was seeded at the superior conjunction of Venus on March 25, 2021 at 5º50’ Aries; these storylines in particular will be experiencing significant developments. It will also be important to contemplate the storylines taking shape during the previous inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on June 3, 2020 at 13º35’ Gemini, as this was the last time that Venus united with the Sun while retrograde. The last time there was a conjunction of Venus with the Sun in Capricorn was the superior conjunction of Venus on January 8, 2018 at 18º57’ Capricorn; this solar conjunction was additionally relevant due to it occurring near Pluto. Moreover, the last time that Venus was retrograde and conjoining the Sun in Capricorn was eight years ago on January 11, 2014 at 21º11’ Capricorn; this previous Venus retrograde phase in Capricorn was additionally significant due to Venus stationing direct while forming a conjunction with Pluto on January 31, 2014.

Fortunately, the inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 is taking place within a section of Capricorn that pleases Venus: her own bounds. The bounds or terms of each zodiacal sign are sections in which planets have greater agency to express their nature even if they are not the domicile ruler of the sign. For example, Demetra George has compared a planet being in its own bounds to being like a classroom that the planet can manage within the larger context of the zodiacal sign. Since Venus has her bounds from fourteen to twenty-two degrees of Capricorn, she will begin operating from her own terms beginning on January 3 and will remain within her own terms until January 17. The presence of Venus within her own bounds during her inferior conjunction as well as the surrounding time period will enhance our capacity for deepening into whatever changes in our values and desires are taking shape and being able to experience the pleasures of Venus in the process.

The deep alterations to inner values we experience on personal levels will be taking place within a larger context of disruptive societal change due to the final exact square aspect that formed between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus on December 23. Indeed, Saturn in Aquarius rules the New Moon in Capricorn while beginning to separate from its exact square aspect with Uranus. Due to the recent entrance of Jupiter into Pisces, Saturn will no longer be sharing space with the cohering and uplifting presence of Jupiter. Instead, Saturn will be sharing space with Mercury in the coming weeks. Mercury recently entered the sign of Aquarius on January 1 within his curiously explorative Morning Star phase, full of questions and new ideas to develop that can be strengthened and deepened by the influence from Saturn.

During the end of the previous lunar cycle, Mercury swiftly moved through the end of Capricorn and formed conjunctions with Venus retrograde on December 29 and Pluto on December 30, picking up important messages and insights regarding our experience of the present Venus retrograde phase. With Mercury in Aquarius along with Saturn and applying toward a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, the star of Hermes will be in position to help us adjust our inner changes taking shape in correspondence with the larger shifts erupting in the surrounding world. Mercury and Saturn together in Aquarius can be extremely effective in the development of intellectual research and ideas, and so it will be worthwhile to create space for focused work on projects, with the influence from Uranus enhancing our capacity for being experimental with new approaches that can lead to revelatory insights.

3 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 2 Decan

The Capricorn New Moon will emerge within the second decan of Capricorn associated with the Three of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a skilled sculptor in process of creating a divinely inspired masterwork in stone. There is a consultation taking place between the artisan and authorities associated with the institution, with carefully drawn plans for the masterpiece on display. Fittingly, Mars and Venus are the co-rulers of the second decan of Capricorn, as it is a face in which great works can be created through collaboration, careful planning, and incredible effort bonded with artistic vision. With the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 also occurring within the second decan of Capricorn, the visionary blueprints of this decan are in the process of experiencing major renovations.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Pyramid” to the second decan of Capricorn, noting it is a place where sublime works of material manifestation are completed. Coppock described this face as showing “visions of what might be wrought upon the earth, blueprints as a type of revelation.” There is not only a necessity for blueprints but also disciplined, hard work in collaboration with numerous resources in order to complete the grand visions that emerge in this face. Coppock wrote that while it is necessary to bind effort to accomplishing ambitious goals, he also cautioned to take care in the “enduring consequences” created by becoming consumed by the creation of a grand magnum opus. Images in both the Picatrix as well as Three Occult Books of Philosophy speak to this face inspiring a search for what cannot be known and seeking what cannot be done, leading Coppock to note the importance of finding a balance between having enough ambition to envision worthy goals while refraining from the kind of hubris that can envision “impossible or ill fated projects.”

Thus with the Capricorn New Moon on January 2 and the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 both taking place within the second face of Capricorn, we can explore if we need to release ourselves from past ambitious goals that are no longer aligned with the emerging values we are coming into relationship with. The revelations from the retrograde phase of Venus may also bring realization that continuing to purse a particular vision will make you complicit in a pyramidal hierarchy of power you no longer wish to be involved with. While some may link the symbol of pyramids with problematic hierarchies, pyramids were also associated in ancient Egyptian culture with creation itself, as they represented the mounds of earth that would arise out of the fertility of water. Within the darkness of the New Moon in Capricorn, let the Sea Goat of Capricorn lead you into the depths of your inner fertility in order to contact the vibrant visions ready to emerge through your work and planning in the year ahead.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces

Jupiter in Pisces Vija Celmins

ocean image by Vija Celmins; astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

Jupiter in Pisces

Like the nine muses who dance with pounding feet around violet-stained springs to awaken desire, the transit of Jupiter in Pisces during 2022 will give life to imaginal visions and elevate idealistic inspiration. Pisces is the oceanic home of Jupiter where the star of Zeus can directly express its gifts for synthesis, shaping, ordering, nourishing, expanding, creating, and sustaining faith in the unknown. During a time of unprecedented collective crises and a year bearing extremely volatile astrological themes involving the ongoing tension between Saturn and Uranus, the presence of Jupiter in Pisces will deliver moments of epiphany that cohere greater understanding within our experiences while also planting seeds of revelatory ideas that may blossom in the decade ahead. 

The mystical and otherworldly Neptune awaits Jupiter underneath the waves of Pisces, promising that Jupiter will expand the dissolution of old forms, bringing about a reshaping and reordering of values, perspectives, and beliefs through a disintegrative process. We will need to be mindful of the ways Neptune combined with Jupiter can lead us astray through illusion, escapism, and intoxication, influencing us to be unfocused on mundane responsibilities that need our attention. Although we will need to keep in mind the potential for deluding ourselves when hearing their call from the far-off sea, following the siren songs of Jupiter and Neptune can also reveal insight that unites diverse perspectives and traditions.  Just like the muses as daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus share truths that cannot be forgotten, so may Jupiter in Pisces retrieve essential meaning that will emerge from the dissolution brought forth by Neptune and stand the test of time. 

Jupiter will return to its watery home of Pisces on December 28, 2021 after previously occupying Pisces from May 13 until July 28, 2021. Jupiter will then swiftly sail through its oceanic domicile in less than five months, entering Aries on May 10, 2022. After an initial foray into Aries, Jupiter will come back home to Pisces on October 28, 2022 for a sojourn until leaving Pisces for a final time on December 20, 2022. The pivotal conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune will take place on April 12, 2022 at twenty-four degrees of Pisces, with the influence of Neptune upon Jupiter intensifying once Jupiter moves within fifteen degrees of Neptune on January 27. Jupiter will remain within fifteen degrees of Neptune for the rest of 2022 (ending the year within nine degrees of Neptune), creating a lingering effect from their conjunction that will last well beyond their April meeting.

blue grotto

Blue Grotto (Capri Island, Italy) Detroit Publishing Co., ca. 1890

Pisces is the nocturnal home of Jupiter, an aquatic landscape of gushing springs and expansive seas that accentuates the fertile life force of Jupiter. Although the reputation Jupiter has in astrology for being the “great benefic” does not mean that transits from Jupiter always bring positively joyful experiences, it is important that significations of Jupiter involve relief from troubles, generosity, charity, growth, abundance, elevation, truth, reverence, affirmation, and coherence. Since Pisces is Jupiter’s home it can fully express its beneficial significations, with the moist mutability of Pisces amplifying the capacity of Jupiter for synthesizing meaning, distilling wisdom, and generating new mixtures of ideas. For example, a list of famous Jupiter in Pisces natives includes Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Kepler, Freud, Darwin, Nietszche, Goethe, and Rousseau. The brilliance of Jupiter in Pisces may also be heard in the music of Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, JRR Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Arthur Miller, as well as in the art of Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and John Singer Sargent.

Indeed, the inwardly directed nature of Pisces allows for extraordinary insight and inspiration to be found through exploration of our boundless inner realms. In contrast to Sagittarius, the fiery domicile of Jupiter where it swiftly gallops with outward enthusiasm, the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.

Yet with the dissolving whirlpool of Neptune present with Jupiter in Pisces, the coherence we gain through Jupiter will be important to question. The combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will necessitate a descent into the dissolution of our previous beliefs, embodying the essence that will eventually coagulate out of the disintegrating stirring of our inner life. There will be a need to embrace nonlinear processes rather than insisting on linear progress, as we may need to pass through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we receive. Liz Greene has taught that while Jupiter seeks personal meaning that helps cohere understanding for how our personal lives are meaningful within a larger context, Neptune is the antithesis of personal enrichment due to it revealing our sense of egoic control as being a fantasy that we need to transcend or release (1).

Within Irish folklore, the concept of “seachran si” or “fairy straying” is interesting to consider in terms of the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Neptune. When under the spell of fairy straying, wayfarers become confused while journeying across liminal landscapes as they experience a sudden shift into the strange and unfamiliar. An impassable fog or mist may obsfucate their view of the path ahead, or a river may block all forward progress no matter which way they turn. In this way Neptune can function like the Otherworld of fairy as all familiar reference points dissolve, forcing an interfacing with the indeterminate. Interestingly, a remediation from Irish folklore concerns turning your coat or clothes inside out in order to counterbalance the enchantment (2). Similarly, we may need to take on the inverted stance of the Hanged Man arcanum from tarot, allowing our perspective to be turned inside out while navigating the waves of Jupiter and Neptune.

As a result, the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Jupiter and Neptune must be kept in mind while also remembering their capacity for fostering hopes and aspirations that go beyond the conditioning of past identities and beliefs. Dane Rudhyar wrote that a key issue with Jupiter is the tendency for people to seek success through conformity with the expectations and rules of the present power structures, whereas the influence of Neptune may render a future form we may seek which transcends the problematic and oppressive aspects of the dominant cultures we live within. However, Rudhyar also noted that the confusion that can accompany taking a visionary step forward can also create a regressive pull in many toward the security of familiar institutions and beliefs. Nonetheless, Rudhyar stressed that it can be the accumulation of smaller changes within our relationships that occur in correspondence with the merging of Jupiter and Neptune that later allow for the greater revolutionary events in the wider world to materialize (3).

Fish Magic by  Paul Klee

Fish Magic (1925) by Paul Klee, born with Jupiter in Pisces

“To use the world well, to be able to stop wasting it and our time in it, we need to relearn our being in it . . .

Relationship among all things appears to be complex and reciprocal — always at least two-way, back-and-forth. It seems that nothing is single in this universe, and nothing goes one way.

In this view, we humans appear as particularly lively, intense, aware nodes of relation in an infinite network of connections, simple or complicated, direct or hidden, strong or delicate, temporary or very long-lasting. A web of connections, infinite but locally fragile, with and among everything — all beings — including what we generally class as things, objects . . .

I guess I’m trying to subjectify the universe, because look where objectifying it has gotten us. To subjectify is not necessarily to co-opt, colonize, exploit. Rather it may involve a great reach outward of the mind and imagination.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin from Late in the Day (published in 2015 with Jupiter in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces and square Saturn in Sagittarius)

Jupiter and Neptune Cycle

Although unions between Jupiter and Neptune can open awareness beyond the usual limits of material reality, their cycle in mundane astrology is one of the most orderly and consistent. In fact, the Jupiter and Neptune cycle stands out from all others as it occurs in a successive order of zodiac signs, typically moving from one sign to the next with an occasional repeat of a sign. For example, the 1958 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune was in Scorpio, the 1971 conjunction was in Sagittarius, the 1984 conjunction was in the beginning of Capricorn, the 1997 conjunction was at the end of Capricorn, and the 2009 conjunction was in Aquarius. It takes Jupiter and Neptune approximately 166 years to move through their entire cycle, forming conjunctions with each other every thirteen years or so. Since Neptune was discovered in 1846, the first conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune to occur following Neptune’s discovery was their union on March 17, 1856 at nineteen degrees of Pisces. Thus the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune on April 12, 2022 will demarcate the first time that humanity has experienced the full cycle of Jupiter and Neptune forming conjunctions in every sign of the zodiac sequentially since becoming aware of the existence of Neptune.

It’s further important to realize that the last three conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune have occurred in signs ruled by Saturn, with the 2022 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune occurring within a recent astrological period dominated by Saturn. Indeed, the visionary potential of Jupiter uniting with Neptune in Pisces will follow the new cycles initiated between Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in 2020 that correlated with the onset of a global pandemic, the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius at the end of 2020 that established a volatile new era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting within the air triplicity, and the waning square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus that has coincided with rapid innovations and sudden collapses across society in 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022. We are at the beginning of a two hundred year era of air involving rapid dispersal of previously solid power structures and dynamics, with Saturn in the middle of transits bringing a radical reordering of boundaries. Though the ideas we generate from Jupiter and Neptune conjoining will have to face the reality tests of Saturn, their union will be taking place removed from the restrictions of Saturn in astrological terrain where both Jupiter and Neptune possess maximum capacity for visioning creative potential.

Furthermore, there is a harmonious sextile aspect between 23º58’ Pisces where Jupiter and Neptune will unite in 2022 and 22º46’ Capricorn where Saturn and Pluto formed their massively influential conjunction in 2020. The union between Jupiter and Neptune having a supportive aspect with the union between Saturn and Pluto suggests that the inspiring vision of Jupiter and Neptune can provide a counterbalance to the difficult despair brought by Saturn and Pluto, helping to nurture new dreams and ways of recovering from the setbacks and resets brought by the pandemic. Though the astrology of 2022 suggests that there will continue to be numerous collective crises to contend with, the union of Jupiter and Neptune can provide moments of relief in which significant new ideas and sources of inspiration may be found within surrounding challenges.

In many ways the meaning of the Jupiter and Neptune cycle is diametrically opposed to the meaning of the Saturn and Pluto cycle. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described Saturn and Pluto as aligning with “conservative empowerment” and “eras of international crisis and conflict, empowerment of reactionary forces and totalitarian impulses, organized violence and oppression” (4). In contrast, Andre Barbault wrote that conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune emphasize “unified collective global power” and a “collective liberal order,” with “collective movements that have liberal democratic tendencies” favoring “universal moral values” (5). For example, women finally gained the right to vote in the United States of America through the 19th Amendment being ratified less than a month before the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Leo in 1919. Moreover, both the first and second world wars ended during periods of conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune, with the League of Nations being formed following their conjunction in 1919 and the United Nations being fomed following their conjunction in Libra in 1945. It’s remarkable that both attempts during the 20th century to form governing bodies which brought world powers together on behalf of avoiding another world war occurred in exact alignment with Jupiter and Neptune. In fat, the ubiquitous peace symbol commonly used today was in invented in 1958 with Jupiter and Neptune within a few degrees from one another in Scorpio.

Barbault also stated that the unions of Jupiter and Neptune tend to bring “a swing to the left” with “democratic, socialist, or even more or less revolutionary” tendencies. There can thus be tension between the more revolutionary manifestations of Jupiter and Neptune with efforts by global powers to expand their influence and power. For example, while the League of Nations mandated the territories of Palestine and modern Iraq to the United Kingdom and Syria to France during the period of the 1919 conjunction, the Cuban revolution achieved victory following the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in 1958 and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation was founded in 1983 with Jupiter and Neptune within fifteen degrees of one another in Sagittarius. Across the world there has often been an upsurge in strikes and protests on behalf of the labor movement and workers’ rights when Jupiter and Neptune come together. For example, the Coxey’s Army march of unemployed workers to Washington D.C. during the time of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Gemini in 1894 was the first significant protest march in history upon the capital of the United States of America.

Concerning the most recent cycle of Jupiter and Neptune that began in 2009 in Aquarius, within the United States of America there was not only the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first African American president in the nation’s history, there was also the landmark Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama that dramatically expanded healthcare coverage to the US populace. The ability of President Obama to lead congress in the passage of liberal legislation had a parallel to the election of Franklin Roosevelt to the presidency during a previous conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in 1932. Roosevelt became president during the initial stages of the Great Depression and was able to have his New Deal legislation passed to address the economic depression gripping the nation, bringing hope and increased opportunity to many during a bleak period. The push from the present Biden administration to pass legislation aimed at addressing the economic crises emanating from the pandemic is thus in line with past historical examples of the cycle.

Max Ernst

by Max Ernst, born with Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter combined with Neptune in Pisces will also stimulate and galvanize new trends and imaginative forms of creative expression across diverse disciplines around the world. The last time that Jupiter and Neptune formed a conjunction in Pisces, the fashion and textile industries were revolutionized by the accidental discovery of the first synthetic organic dye by William Henry Perkin, who was trying to synthesize quinine for the treatment of malaria. Only eighteen years old when he discovered aniline purple, known today as mauveine, Perkin was primed for the impact of Jupiter and Neptune as he was born with a stellium of Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Mars, and the Sun in Pisces. Before Perkin’s discovery the only materials available for textile coloration came from plants or animals and involved long, laborious processes to extract color. Significantly, the brilliant purple hue revealed by Perkin had previously only been accessible to the wealthy. There was even an initial thought to name the dye Tyrian purple after the legendary coloring created from sea snails that was a signature of eminence in ancient cultures. After the discovery of mauveine, there was an immense wave of clothing and textiles dyed purple as the color became widely accessible for the first time in human history.

The thrill of wearing brilliant colors and the lift they can provide to the spirit corresponds with the imaginal potency that trends within art possess that emerge within the zeitgeist when Jupiter and Neptune form conjunctions. The archetypal mixture of Jupiter and Neptune brings together the expanding and elevating functions of Jupiter with the fantasizing functions of Neptune, kindling desire for fusion with transcendent sources of idealism that can temporarily remove us from the travails and limitations of mundane reality. In the 20th century there were numerous grandiose releases such as “Purple Rain” by Prince and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin timed with their unions, as well as smaller moments that led to later epic releases such as The Quarrymen (later renamed The Beatles) paying for their first ever recording session. The crux becomes whether or not we become led to avoid our purpose in the world through Jupiter and Neptune, or whether we can drink from their enlivening well in order to instill a deeper sense of our destiny. For example, the virtual reality technologies likely to emerge within the new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune simultaneously have the potential to open new avenues of therapy and creativity as well as massive escape from reality.

Mid-Ocean-Mid-Winter John Singer Sargent

Mid-Ocean, Mid-Winter (1876) by John Singer Sargent, born with Jupiter in Pisces

The purpose and passion that can be uncovered beneath the waves of the oceanic unconscious when Jupiter and Neptune unite is exemplified by the publication of The Red Book: Liber Novus by Carl Jung during the period of their conjunction in Aquarius in 2009. A testament to the deep meaning that can be extracted from disorienting, disillusioning, and disintegrative experiences of the unconscious, the long-awaited publication of Jung’s personal odyssey has revolutionized not only the understanding of Jung’s work during the past cycle of Jupiter and Neptune, it has also expanded the potential meaning all of us can gain through encounters with the mystery of unconscious forces. The field of depth psychology has important links with the Jupiter and Neptune cycle, as the famous meeting between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud took place during the period of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Cancer in 1907. Moreover, Sigmund Freud was born with both Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces.

Not only was Jung’s Red Book published during a period of Jupiter and Neptune conjoining, he was actively working on it and beginning to excavate insights regarding his unconscious process to share publicly during a previous period of Jupiter and Neptune uniting in Leo during 1919 and 1920. In a paper presented in 1919 on “The psychological foundations of the belief in spirits,” Jung distinguished between two ways the collective unconscious can become activated: as part of personal crises of lost hope and as part of extraordinary societal and cultural upheaval (6). This insight is crucial for everyone during 2022, but especially for those in the United States as the USA will be experiencing its first Pluto return at the same time the conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune will be forming an opposition to the natal Neptune for the USA. Jung’s revelation that suppressed cultural content can accumulate in the collective unconscious and erupt with disturbing, disorienting effects during times of societal turbulence points to the importance of differentiating oneself enough to explore what emerges within the unconscious and translate the meaning we may retrieve through dialogue and forms of creative expression.

Indeed, due to the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in April occurring in the same time period as a conjunction between Mars and Saturn, as well as the final contact between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces at the end of 2022 occurring in range of a disruptive square aspect from Mars retrograde in Gemini, we can foresee that there will be difficult and tragic collective events occurring alongside whatever inspired experiences correlate with the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction. Yet while difficult collective and personal events may invoke the muse of tragedy, Melpomene, her melodious voice within the collective storms of 2022 can guide us in resiliently persevering through the challenges and inspiring others to do the same. In a time of widespread propaganda and conspiracy theories reminiscent of the themes involved in the dystopian novel 1984, it is fitting that not only was the author George Orwell born with Jupiter in Pisces but also that the famous commercial that introduced the Macintosh personal computer with imagery from the novel 1984 was broadcast at the same time as the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in the year 1984. Though our personal technology devices point to how we give power away to those in power, Jupiter and Neptune coming together can also remind us of ways we can each take back and claim greater personal power from within.

Within the sweep of planetary alignments to come in the next few years, the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will interface with the disruptions to the status quo brought forth by the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus in 2021 and 2022. As Uranus forces open the gates and boundaries of Saturn, so will Neptune inspire flights of boundless imagination from Jupiter. The new visions unearthed will be key, for in 2024 we will experience a conjunction between Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus followed by a conjunction in 2026 between Saturn and Neptune in Aries at the first degree of Aries following a period of Saturn being co-present in Pisces along with Neptune that begins in March 2023. While these years will witness another wave of rapid change across global societies, the extended alignment between Saturn and Neptune can support making real the imaginative leaps in thought inspired by the union of Jupiter and Neptune in 2022. May the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune aid you in dreaming well and deepening into the meaning of your myriad relationships within the world around you.

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Works Cited

  1. Greene, Liz. (12 October 2004). Centre for Psychological Astrology (CPA) seminar at Regents College, London. Neptune.
  2. Bluirini Bealoidis Folklore Podcast. (9 April 2021). Episode 30 – The Stray Sod.
  3. Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.
  4. Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.
  5. Barbault, Andre. (2016). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. Translated by Kate Johnston. The Astrological Association.
  6. Jung, C. G. (2009). The red book: Liber novus (S. Shamdasani, Ed.,& trans: Kyburz, M., Peck, J., & Shamdasani, S.). New York: W. W. Norton.

Goethe

Colour Wheel by Johann von Goethe, born with Jupiter in Pisces, from his book Theory of Colours published during a year of a conjunction between Saturn and Neptune in Sagittarius