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

New Moon in Scorpio

max ernst in praise of freedom

Max Ernst (1926) In Praise of Freedom

New Moon in Scorpio

“Every development leads through the undeveloped, but capable of development. In its undeveloped condition it is almost worthless, while development represents a highest value that is unquestionable. One must give up this value or at least apparently give it up to be able to attend to the undeveloped. But this stands in the sharpest contrast to the developed, which perhaps represents our best and highest achievement. The acceptance of the undeveloped is therefore like a sin, like a false step, a degeneration, a descent to a deeper level; in actual fact, however, it is a greater deed than remaining in an ordered condition at the expense of the other side of our being, which is thus at the mercy of decay.”

— C.G. Jung, from Appendix B of Liber Novus (aka The Red Book)

The regenerative blackness of the Scorpio New Moon on October 27 (PST) comes in the days leading up to Samhain, the Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, and Halloween. In the northern hemisphere it is the season of embracing the increase of night and falling leaves by honoring ancestors and the living otherworld. There is a profound stillness to be found within the darkness of this lunation, an emptying as well as a reception of inner insight. The New Moon in Scorpio is exactly opposite Uranus in Taurus while its ruler Mars in Libra is in an exact square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn, marking it as a key gateway between all the diverse developments of 2019 and what is to come in the ending and beginning of a new year. The wet, boggy landscape of Scorpio is filled not only with decomposition and burial mounds, but also the fecund, fructifying growth that emerges from putrefaction. Issues from the past may emerge in need of laying to rest with the sanctity of funeral rites, yet simultaneously our inner senses will reveal burgeoning desires to be curious about and follow in unexpected directions.

The Moon has its fall in Scorpio, and so it’s further significant that the New Moon is only one degree beyond the exact degree of the Moon’s fall at 3º Scorpio. As a result, there is an extremely fallen quality to the Scorpio New Moon that can bring us low to the ground, like venturing into a depression under the earth with an intensity of underworld initiation. Scorpio is a place of obsession and fixating on plans of development, insisting on certain outcomes against all odds to such an extent that one can become flooded with emotional overwhelm when things do not manifest as desired. Since Venus will also be conjoining Mercury in Scorpio within the darkness of the New Moon, as Mercury is simultaneously stationing retrograde, it will be important to release attachment to controlling outcomes and instead flow with the trajectory of events with a willingness to modify plans as necessary.

The New Moon arrives at the heart of the Uranus retrograde, when Uranus is as close to our Earth in orbit as it gets within its cycle. Uranus stationed retrograde on August 11 at 6º36′ Taurus and will eventually station direct on January 10, 2020 at 2º38′ Taurus. This means Uranus will eventually station direct at the same time as the exact conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn on January 12, 2020. As the Scorpio Moon melds into the Sun while opposing Uranus, unforeseen revelations regarding the path to follow into the unknown future may strike suddenly. Uranus electrifies the fallen quality of the Scorpio New Moon, like an otherworldly vision of healing received while laying on the ground, incubating.

Unlike the frenetic quality of oppositional aspects when Uranus was in Aries, the opposition between Uranus in Taurus with the New Moon in Scorpio cultivates a brooding intensification of inwardly directed senses. Rather than attempting to control natural surroundings, Uranus in Taurus promotes finding ways to merge the magic of nature and all of its constant changes into one’s creative process of invention. The scholar and philosopher Peter Kingsley has spoken and written extensively about the sacred ground of our inner senses and how we can become “a farmer in the unseen worlds” engaging in a “whole process of inner agriculture.” If you feel like giving up due to obstacles or nothing seeming to work out as planned, make space for quiet immersion within inner senses to discover guidance for the next steps to take from Uranus.

Magritte the fanatics

Rene Magritte (1963) Les Fanatiques

Mars in Libra rules the Scorpio New Moon and is beginning to separate from an exact square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn while applying toward a square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. The influence of Mars will amplify frustration and anger regarding barriers restricting achievement of goals, as well as over anything feeling unjust or out of balance within personal as well as societal relationships. While resiliency and persistence will be necessary allies on whatever quest you have undertaken, it will do no good to try to fight your way through unmoveable obstacles as it will only achieve exhaustion. Mars in Libra needs to instead find ways to utilize the tools of Venus in order to manipulate power dynamics through intellectual invention and social charm.

The traditional astrological concept of essential dignities is worth considering in relation to the catalyzing square between Mars and Saturn, as Mars and Saturn are in mutual reception due to Mars occupying the exaltation of Saturn and Saturn residing in the exaltation of Mars. It’s further notable that this is reception based upon the idealized grandeur of exaltation rather than the grounded security of domicile. While exaltation correlates with peak experiences, whatever goes up to great heights can also fall from grace. William Lilly famously described angular, unimpeded planets in exaltation as signifying arrogance, haughtiness, and “assuming more to him than his due.” Thus it is worth contemplating whether or not you are trying to fight for more than your fair share of resources, or if you are becoming frustrated over not manifesting desired results due to setting your expectations too high.

While Saturn is strongly secure in its home of Capricorn, it is also undergoing an intense process of shedding and honing due to being in between the South Node of the Moon and Pluto in Capricorn. In contrast, Mars is journeying far away from its home with few resources in Libra, yet since it is in a superior position of being in the tenth place from Saturn it can incite a volatilized charge against the constraints of Saturn. It will be wise to avoid unnecessary conflict, as fights can quickly become amplified with viciousness. The friction between Mars and Saturn can be best utilized through hard work and determination applied to productive effort, releasing attachment to the inessential, using the tension to discern what you truly value the most.

Although Mars is lacking in essential dignity, the New Moon in Scorpio is in the most powerful degree range of the zodiac for Mars since it is in the domicile, face, and bounds of the red planet. Hellenistic astrologer Vettius Valens (2nd Century CE) described the first seven degrees of Scorpio where Mars has its bounds as “frenetic, tending towards anger, and a bold, free speaking style- the kind to say what is necessary at any given time.” Positively, the Scorpio New Moon can be supportive for doing what needs to be done to separate and protect yourself from negative, toxic influences. Since Mars is in Libra, however, a more measured approach of strategic intervention will be favored over impulsive, direct action.

After Mars persists through challenging square aspects with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, it will eventually form a stabilizing sextile aspect with Jupiter in Sagittarius during the Full Moon in Taurus on November 12 that can help with recovering from conflicts and taking inspired action. As the waxing Moon will also unite with Uranus on November 11 just before reaching fullness, there is potential to liberate yourself from stuck places and ultimately achieve greater self actualization through maintaining courageous resiliency in the face of difficulties in the lunar cycle ahead.

Gustave_Doré_-_Dante_Alighieri_-_Inferno_-_Plate_7_(Beatrice).jpg

Beatrice with Virgil from Dante’s Inferno by Gustave Dore

The Scorpio New Moon has a quality of strange stillness and suspense due to Venus applying to a conjunction with Mercury, as Mercury is simultaneously stationing retrograde. Mercury will station retrograde on October 31 at 27º38′ Scorpio, moving backwards through Scorpio until stationing direct at 11º35′ Scorpio on November 20. It is always important to increase practices of mindfulness and pay close attention whenever Mercury is stationing, as we may receive early signs and messages regarding elements of life that will require focus, release, repair, as well as in depth research during the retrograde journey of Mercury. As Venus unites with Mercury on October 30 at the threshold of Mercury shifting retrograde, we may become drawn toward applying intense creative focus toward a project to develop in the month ahead as well as realize ways we need to make radical changes within certain relational dynamics with others. 

As Mercury turns back to retrace its steps through the watery landscape of Scorpio, it will be entering its invisible phase in which it will play the role of a psychopomp guiding us into the insight we may discover in shadowy places and inner senses. Whereas Mercury will demand an unflinching examination of any cracks in foundational elements of our life in need of mending, Venus will be calling for us to embrace and integrate whatever core purpose brings inspiration. Venus will be increasing in brightness as an Evening Star, glowing radiant in twilight as she also becomes a stronger presence in our lives during the month ahead. Venus in Scorpio will be mutually exchanging signs with Mars in Libra through November 1, deepening engagement with new desires and interest in magnetizing support within relationships. Venus holds particularly potent desires within the final ten degrees of Scorpio she is traversing, as she has the resources of being in her own face and triplicity. Let Venus fertilize a fascinating mission for Mercury to undertake during its retrograde phase in November.

After Venus leaves the deep waters of Scorpio on November 1, she will enter the expansive territory of Sagittarius in which she will steadily make her way toward a conjunction with Jupiter that will complete on November 24. The co-presence of Venus and Jupiter in Sagittarius during November will be beneficial in synthesizing ideas and beliefs into a larger vision to build towards through our daily effort in spite of any difficulties we must contend with.

The_Vision_of_The_Valley_of_The_Dry_Bones

Gustave Dore The Vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones

The other major aspects of the Scorpio New Moon involve harmonizing aspects with Saturn in Capricorn. While Saturn is mutually applying toward a sextile aspect with Neptune retrograde in Pisces, the Scorpio New Moon is also applying toward a sextile aspect with the South Node of the Moon, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn. Meanwhile, since Mercury will be moving backwards through Scorpio, it will eventually form sextile aspects with Pluto, Saturn, and the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn in November. Saturn will complete its exact sextile with Neptune retrograde on November 8 at 16º01′ degrees of Capricorn and Pisces, making it an especially powerful season of Samhain to honor and commune with ancestors.

The karmic caravan of Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn has dredged up personal, ancestral, and societal issues in need of reparation during 2019. During the recent Libra season, this deep rooted material was stirred up and catalyzed through the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Mercury moving through the same square aspects with Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto that Mars is engaging during the Scorpio New Moon. While Mars is heating up and volatilizing all of the myriad strands of historical and contemporary injustice and oppression contained within the karmic configuration, on a personal level the harmonious aspects formed by the Scorpio New Moon and Neptune open an opportunity for dissolving old, restrictive patterns in order to reconfigure our relationship with the associated material and discern a new way forward. The gravity and weight of Saturn and Pluto coming together in a new cycle will be intensifying in the next three months, and so the Scorpio New Moon is ideal for making space to reflect upon ways to realign and flow in greater harmony with the currents of change taking shape.

cups05

5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The Scorpio New Moon arises in the first decan of Scorpio associated with the Five of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image appears desolate at first, as a despairing figure stares with fixation upon three spilled chalices. However, upon closer look there remain two upright chalices behind the figure, suggesting hope. There is also a river flowing underneath a bridge behind the figure, evoking the flux philosophy of Heraclitus that no one ever steps in the same river twice since the river is always changing as well as the person. It is a fitting image to associate with the first decan of Scorpio as it captures the fundamental nature of having desires within our constantly shifting world in which we must deal with the loss of what we desire most in the world.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Jawbone” to the first decan of Scorpio, declaring hunger as its chief concern. Coppock synthesized the ancient textual images of this face around the constantly circulating cycle of desire, including consuming hunger, satiation, the loss of what one desires, and the competitive violence of pursuing desires. Curiously, the ancient Hermetic text Liber Hermetis described “a crab having wings” residing in the first decan of Scorpio, indicating that liberation may be possible once we face the compulsive nature of the cycle. The Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed the Numphai (Nymphs) to this face, feminine nature spirits who reside in sacred streams, groves, and grottoes. The obsessive nature of this face brings to mind the figure of Dionysus who often ran with wild nymphs and whose all consuming desires incite dismemberment and rebirth. Fittingly, Mars is considered to be the ruler of this face.

The importance of following desires into a fully lived life, as well as the mysterious initiations and soul reckoning we experience as a result, was stressed in the depth psychological work of Carl Jung. In commentaries on Liber Novus (found in Appendix B of the tome), Carl Jung described Eros and Logos as “fundamental psychic powers that form a pair of opposites, each one requiring the other.” While Jung connected Logos with “ordering and insistence,” he described Eros as “dissolution and movement” as well as “desire, longing, force, exuberance, pleasure, suffering…” Jung declared Eros to be “a principle that contains a commingling of all the fundamental activities of the soul,” stating that it “is not form-giving but form-fulfilling; it is the wine that will be poured into the vessel; it is not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it.”

In the coming months as all things related to Saturn and Pluto intensify in correspondence with their approaching conjunction, we will all need to adjust to the reordering of numerous societal factors as cultural structures deepen into the process of breakdown and regeneration already underway. Within the darkness of the Scorpio New Moon, make a trip to the ever flowing stream of Eros in order to fill a flask of vivifying fluid to bring on the journey ahead. Allow the refreshment from the waters of the Scorpio New Moon to cleanse what needs to be purified and to arouse the passion needed to make life meaningful. There will be lessons of longing and suffering we will need to survive if we wish to help create the world we truly desire to inhabit.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

Jung, C.G. (2009) The Red Book (Liber Novus). Translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. Philemon Series. WW Norton & Company.

Kingsley, Peter. (2006). Return to Eternity: a transformational workshop with Peter Kingsley.

Lilly, William. (2004 edition). Christian Astrology. Astrology Classics.

Vettius Valens of Antioch, Book One. Rendered from ancient Greek into  modern English by Andrea Gehrz. (2016). Moira Press.

 

The Radical Moisture of Neptune

jung red book 131

Image 131 from Liber Novus by Carl Jung

The tension of the future is unbearable in us. It must break through narrow cracks, it must force new ways. You want to cast off the burden, you want to escape the inescapable. Running away is deception and detour. Shut your eyes so that you do not see the manifold, the outwardly plural, the tearing away and the tempting. There is only one way and that is your way; there is only one salvation and that is your salvation. Why are you looking around for help? Do you believe that help will come from outside? What is to come is created in you and from you. Hence look into yourself. Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you.

— Carl Jung, Liber Novus, 130

Neptune stationed retrograde at 12º2′ of Pisces on 13 June 2016, with Saturn retrograde closely applying to a last quarter square at 12º20′ of Sagittarius.  Saturn will perfect its square with Neptune on June 17 or 18, depending upon your time zone.  There is an astrological construct that Saturn has the upper hand in this tension as it is in a “superior” square to Neptune, meaning that Sagittarius is the tenth place from Pisces.  When a planet stations, however, it takes on far vaster significance than normal.  In the case of Neptune stationing retrograde, its numinous significations corresponding to everything Saturn blocks with its stalwart boundaries possess an inexorable tide of salty seawater disintegrating the structures that have been defining one’s identity.  Many are undergoing personal crises in which an identity, relationship, or path they had been attached to has been dissolving.  In the wake of the familiar gone, the once ideal awash in bitter disillusionment, one’s ability to act with integrity can be corrupted by fear, anger, confusion, and insecurity.  Neptune can be difficult to work with because its emanations do not fit neatly into consensus reality like those of Saturn.  Yet when an exact square forms, we need to open to Neptune and begin to integrate what it is asking of us if we wish to be avoid becoming overwhelmed by the dynamic.

In the final paragraph recorded by Carl Jung in Memories, Dreams, Reflections he quoted Lao-tzu:  “All things are clear, I alone am clouded.”  It is the illusions we carry, picked up from outside sources, that cause us to become disoriented by a Neptune transit. When we realize that a beloved hope we had trusted to bring happiness or meaning is in fact illusory, a sense of drowning and disassociation can envelope our being.  Carl Jung’s work illuminated the sense that both good and evil come from the divine, that the “world into which we are born is brutal and cruel, and at the same time of divine beauty” (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 358).  This is the realm of Neptune, a planet that signifies both the most wretched states of existence found in suicidal addictions, as well as the most fulfilled feelings of bliss and joy found in true love.  At today’s juncture of the square between Saturn and Neptune, humanity is facing the terror of its own mass destruction, as numerous collective illusions have coalesced into an era filled with mass murder and environmental devastation.

While Neptune is not truly analogous to the prima materia of alchemy, when Jung in “The Visions of Zosimos” wrote of the radical, root moisture that connects the prima materia with the soul, there is a link to the numinous nature of Neptune we sense whenever we tap into the soul of the world.  Contact with Neptune opens us to the collective unconscious, the wisdom found in the images of our dreams, and wherever we feel the presence of the interconnected, underlying field and fabric of reality.  In the dewy mist coloring the earth as we awake from dream, as the solar rays prepare to emerge once again from the fertile night, we are given another opportunity to release ourselves from the illusions of our past and engage with the arising inspiration that brings life to our imagination and being.  While Neptune transits can feel so disillusioning that we lose sense of meaning in life, they can also revivify our connection with the animating spirit of our universal matrix.

Carl Jung in relation to Neptune has been on my mind a great deal recently as I was fortunate to hear two talks given by Richard Tarnas at the Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC) of 2016.  In both talks Tarnas spoke of the important influence the modern emphasis on individualism and the solar heroic self has had in terms of supporting the capacity of people to liberate themselves from oppressive authority and prevailing worldviews in order to discover their own authentic nature and beliefs to live from.  Yet this emphasis on the individual also led to the disenchantment of the universe, a dissociative illusion of separateness from the interconnected streams of the Anima Mundi in which humanity has brought itself to the brink of extinction.  Vitally, Tarnas emphasized that the Sun not only ascends, but descends, and that it is the descent into the many of the pregnant night where we experience alchemical transformation in our night sea journey, where the solar hero sacrifices itself to the whole, embraces and loves the whole, succumbs to the multitudinous of the moonlit night.  This is not unlike opening the rigid, dogmatic confines of Saturn to the numinous realm of Neptune.

jung red book 55

Image 55 by Carl Jung from Liber Novus

One word that was never spoken.

One light that was never lit up.

An unparalleled confusion.

And a road without end.

— Carl Jung, translation of text from image 55, Liber Novus

Carl Jung is exemplary as an individual willing to descend into his depths in order to bring back knowledge to share with the collective, not only because of the testament of his work such as the Red Book/Liber Novus, but also within the symbolism of his birth chart.  Jung was born with a setting Sun in Leo, the very image of the solar self’s descent.  Furthermore, Jung was born with an exact square between Neptune in Taurus and his Leo Sun.  When Jung famously had his vision of the coming world war while riding the train to Schaffhausen, Switzerland in October 1913 (overcome by a vision of blood flooding the European landscape, with the Alps protecting his homeland), Uranus was directly on his ascendant in opposition to his Sun while Neptune was coming into range of a conjunction with his Sun and a square to his Neptune.

During Jung’s years of his descent into his depths of fantasies and communication with his unconscious from 1912 through 1917, Neptune approached and formed an exact conjunction to his natal Sun and square to his natal Neptune (this period also saw Uranus conjoin his ascendant, oppose his Sun, and then oppose his own natal Uranus).  In Memories, Dreams, Reflections Jung called this time of exploring his inner images the most important period of his life, “the prima materia for a lifetime’s work” he compared to a “stream of lava” in which “the heat of its fires reshaped my life,” calling his later works “a more or less successful endeavor to incorporate this incandescent matter into the contemporary picture of the world.”

Richard Tarnas gave a lecture at NORWAC 2016 entitled “The Natal Sun: The Solar Journey & the Forging of the Self” in which he used Carl Jung as a primary example for aspects between Neptune and the Sun. Tarnas illuminated the significance of Jung’s natal square between the Sun and Neptune, and how he serves as an example of how a square can be so well integrated in the course of one’s life that something is brought forth that had not existed previously, in Jung’s case the understanding of the Self with a capital “S” and “his sense that we are always moving toward wholeness and we need to have a coniunctio, a sacred marriage between the conscious and the unconscious, and in this case what he meant by the unconscious was the archetypal psyche and the whole Neptunian dimension.” Tarnas brilliantly made the point that the very word Self with a capital “S” is a great example of the Sun and Neptune together, it being a transpersonal level of the self and “a higher self that guides us to becoming ourselves in our own individuated flowering.”  Tarnas also made the point that Jung’s concept of active imagination is a perfect description of the square between the Sun and Neptune in Jung’s birth chart.

Furthermore, Tarnas focused on the transit of Neptune conjoining Jung’s Sun and forming a square to his natal Neptune in which Jung had to hold on to his solar identity “against this tremendous influx of the Neptunian realm, of the archetypal psyche.”  Tarnas spoke of Jung’s firsthand knowledge that we all need to encounter the Neptunian dimension in order to recover our sense of soul and meaning in life, as “the archetypal domain is where all our sense of meaning and purpose ultimately exists.”  Yet, Jung also taught caution around descent into the archetypal realm, as Neptune also brings the danger of drowning with the influx of the deep psyche.  Tarnas made the point that while the Sun is our center and sense of clarity, Neptune dissolves and disorients it.  Tarnas said the influx of the numinous dimension ruled by Neptune into the solar principle can lead to not only divine inspiration but also inflation, a delusional messianic state.  Tarnas said Jung believed that in most cases of westerners entering the archetypal realm of Neptune that they are likely to enter a state of inflation that must be guarded against, as Jung himself had to face.  Tarnas explained that the western psychological emphasis on forging a sense of individual selfhood and egotism can more often than not lead to Neptunian inflation, instead of an ability to transmit the realm of Neptune with a self that has become “transparent to the divine that is coming through.”

As Jung stated in Memories, Dreams, Reflections:

Numinous experience elevates and humiliates simultaneously . . . Wherever the psyche is set violently oscillating by a numinous experience, there is a danger that the thread by which one hangs may be torn.  Should that happen, one man tumbles into an absolute affirmation, another into an equally absolute negation.  Nirdvandva (freedom from opposites) is the Orient’s remedy for this.  I have not forgotten that.  The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.  The numinosum is dangerous because it lures men to extremes, so that a modest truth is regarded as the truth and a minor mistake is equated with fatal error.  Tout passe–  yesterday’s truth is today’s deception, and yesterday’s false inference may be tomorrow’s revelation.  This is particularly so in psychological matters, of which, if truth were told, we still know very little.  We are still a long way from understanding what it signifies that nothing has any existence unless some small- and oh, so transitory- consciousness has become aware of it.

— Carl Jung

The generation born with Neptune in Sagittarius will experience a square from Neptune as it transits through Pisces, and for those born in the same time period as myself we have Neptune exactly squaring our natal Neptune today while Saturn simultaneously is conjoining our natal Neptune.  Others may have the current Neptune square with Saturn making other catalytic aspects in their natal chart in one way or another.  Carl Jung serves as an example of someone who went into the realm of Neptune and came back with knowledge to share with and heal the greater collective.  He did this through active imagination and making the effort to understand the inner images he experienced, writing in Memories, Dreams, Reflections that he tried “to plant the results of my experience in the soil of reality; otherwise they would have remained subjective assumptions without validity.”

As we head into the time of the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day in which the Sun reaches the zenith of its ascent and begins its descent that will lead us into the regeneration of Fall and the darkness of Winter, a Mutable Grand Cross will form involving Mercury in Gemini in opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius, both in square to an opposition between Neptune in Pisces with Jupiter in Virgo.  This could lead to a breakdown or a breakthrough, and to experience the latter Jung’s emphasis on centering within is sage advice.  In Memories, Dreams, Reflections Jung declared, “There is no linear evolution; there is only circumambulation of the self.” Circumambulating, circling around our sacred center instead of becoming spun out in disparate directions through forces within our outer environment, can facilitate the grounding needed to gather insight rather than delusional, disillusioning experiences.

jung red book 107

Image 107 by Carl Jung from Liber Novus

I accepted the chaos, and in the following night, my soul approached me.

— Carl Jung from Liber Novus, 106

References

Jung, Carl. (2009). The Red Book: Liber Novus. Edited by Sonu Shamdasani. Norton.

Jung, Carl. (1967). Alchemical Studies. Bollingen.

Jung, Carl. (1965). Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffe. Vintage.