Cropped image of Pan from Spring Evening by Arnold Bocklin; Astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon
Jupiter in Capricorn
Jupiter descends from its elevated, fiery home of Sagittarius on December 2, 2019 to enter its fall in Capricorn, where it will remain until December 19, 2020. As Jupiter dismounts from its swift steed of Sagittarius and takes off its saffron robe encircled in patterns of star-fire, Jupiter wanders into the rocky and treacherous terrain of Capricorn where Pan-like it will mix with the spirits of land and nature. Like a goat-horned and hoofed deity who dances with nymphs and lives in complete accordance with nature’s cycles, Jupiter in Capricorn brings the force of Eros underneath the surface of matter to catalyze growth and expansion from subterranean sources underlying the roots of appearances.
During 2019, the transit of Jupiter in Sagittarius was the most positive and beneficial astrological force during a year in which we collectively had to come to terms with the intensifying alignment of Saturn and Pluto ending a cycle together in Capricorn while also conjoining the South Node of the Moon and eclipses. The astrologer André Barbault called the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto “a double star that evokes the death wish of Thanatos,” and as the major alignments of its cycle have corresponded with shattering collective events such as the outbreaks of the first and second World Wars as well as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, there has been a lot of fear for what destructive events could erupt during 2020 as they begin a new cycle on January 12. It’s significant that Jupiter will be ending and beginning cycles with both Saturn and Pluto during 2020, while occupying Saturn’s nocturnal home of Capricorn. In the wild, dark forests of Capricorn, Jupiter in Capricorn will have to confront the living ghosts of the past and all of the complex, interweaving strands of historical conflicts found in the shadows of present collective crises.
While Jupiter will bring its strength for reconciling meaning into the widespread decay, breakdown, and power conflicts incited by Saturn and Pluto conjoining in Capricorn, it will no longer be able to purely express itself directly as it could while in Sagittarius. Being under rulership of Saturn, Jupiter in Capricorn will necessitate finding growth opportunities and cohering meaning within the constraints of circumstances and available time and space. Jupiter will need to create from contraction and consolidation, determinedly building what Saturn deems worthy of our investment, stripping away the inessential in the process. As Jupiter comes to the end of its cycle with Saturn, we will need to temper our imaginative visions of expansion with methodical reordering which addresses not only our realizations ripening for harvesting, but also the death of old forms, past issues surfacing for resolution, and the collective changes out of our control we will have to respond to.
Giulio Bonasone( 1531-76), Jupiter suckled by the goat Amalthea
Indeed, the year 2020 is not only significant due to initiating a new decade within the Gregorian calendar, it also happens to align with an epochal shift within broader astrological cycles. The last time Saturn and Pluto united was in 1982/83, while the last time Saturn and Jupiter united was in 2000; however, the Saturn and Jupiter conjunction in 2020 also brings to an end a larger two-hundred year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs, while firmly establishing a new two-hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs. Since the year begins with a conjunction between Saturn and Pluto on January 12, ends with a conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter on December 21, and features Jupiter uniting with Pluto three times in between, the transit of Jupiter in Capricorn is a key transit due to cohering the meaning of numerous planetary cycles together in 2020.
Historically, there has often been a triggering of increased volatility and amplified change and revolution in collective events when Jupiter has moved in between alignments with outer planets like Saturn and Pluto to connect them across broad stretches of time, similar to the “translation of light” caused by the Moon moving in between aspects within planets on a daily basis. Here are some dates for Jupiter forming major aspects with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto during the next year:
- Jupiter in Capricorn will form a flowing and innovative trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus on December 15, 2019. This is the only exact aspect between Jupiter and Uranus, but although a passing transit it will correspond with important insights and manifestations of visions we have been experimenting with. In particular, we may experience vital development on ideas we have been developing since the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus that occurred in 2017.
- Jupiter in Capricorn will form three harmonizing sextile aspects with Neptune in Pisces in 2020 on February 20 (18º), July 27 (21º), and on October 11 (19º). The supportive, waning sextile aspect between Jupiter and Neptune can help ground and structure whatever imaginal visions were developed during the last quarter square formed between Jupiter and Neptune in 2019. It can also help us stabilize any major changes in life direction made in recent years while remaining open to new potential.
- Jupiter will form three conjunctions with Pluto in Capricorn during 2020. The first with both direct on April 4 (25º), the second with both retrograde on June 30 (24º), and the third with both direct on November 12 (23º).
- Jupiter will finally form a conjunction with Saturn at the first degree of Aquarius on December 21, 2020. Jupiter and Saturn will be co-present in Capricorn for most of 2020 except between March 21 and July 1 when Saturn will be in Aquarius. Saturn returns to Aquarius for good on December 17, 2020.
Planets in Fall arranged with the Thema Mundi
Fall of Jupiter
One of the first principles in contemplating Jupiter’s transit through Capricorn in the year ahead is understanding the meaning of Jupiter being in its fall. The graphic above is arranged with the planets in their fall placed into the houses of the Thema Mundi, the mythic horoscope for the birth of the universe. The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn all have their fall in the sign opposite their exaltation. The origin of the terminology for “fall” comes from the Greek term “tapeinoma,” which means a depression in the ground or a low-lying place. As Demetra George wrote in her tome Ancient Astrology, the terminology of fall “carries both the meaning of lower status- humbled, base, low-born- and the corresponding state of melancholy; downcast spirits.” Melancholia and pessimistic beliefs that can come from skepticism are indeed some of the potential downfalls when Jupiter inhabits the cold, dry, and densely earthen home of Saturn.
The schema of exaltation and fall is related to the relation of astrology with the intersection between the eternal realm of Spirit (generally associated with the Sun) with our material realm of Fortune and constant generation, corruption, death, and birth (generally associated with the Moon). Planets in exaltation occupy an idealized, peak expression of the planet capable of receiving fame and acclaim within society. Yet according to William Lilly, exalted planets when unimpeded can describe someone “of haughty condition, arrogant, assuming more to him than his due.” In contrast, planets in fall can be viewed as falling out of the mainstream and the exalted power structure of social hierarchy. Planets in fall may signify matters undervalued by the dominant culture or falling outside what consensus society esteems as elite or idealized. Planets in fall may also become drawn toward working on behalf of those marginalized by societal structures. While exalted planets can tumble from lofty heights, planets in fall can rise up.
I like to frame planets in fall in accordance with the thema mundi since the Sun in Libra is found in the subterranean angle of the fourth house within the mythic horoscope. The Sun being in the place of the underworld evokes the dangerous and death-defying journey that Ra, the Egyptian Sun god, has to undergo each night through facing the serpent Apophis. An embodiment of chaos, Apophis comes perilously close to devouring the Sun in the depth of night and in this way reveals the symbolism of planets in fall needing to undergo an underworld initiation. Though planets in fall can bring us down into dark nights of soul, through difficult initiatory experiences we can ultimately receive deeper understanding into being an eternal soul who has fallen into incarnation in a world of constant flux.
Jupiter has its fall in Capricorn, a place where Mars is exalted; conversely, Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, a place where Mars has its fall. Rhetorius, an astrologer from the 6th or 7th Century CE, wrote that since “Jupiter is the ruler of life and abundance, but Mars of death,” it means that since “the breath of life increase” in Cancer that “the quality of death” has its fall there. Furthermore, Rhetorius wrote that since death increases in Capricorn, “there is life in its fall.” Jupiter in Capricorn is in a sign that favors the combative strength and courage of Mars that deals with survival and death more so than the nurturing strength of Jupiter which focuses on generation and abundance.
There are also ancient associations of Cancer, the sign of the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, being associated with life and the descent of souls into incarnation, whereas Capricorn, the sign of the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, was associated with the ascent of souls following death to the realm of the ancestors. Porphyry in On the Caves of the Nymphs described Cancer as the northern gate “adapted to souls descending into generation,” and Capricorn as the southern gate that is “adapted to ascent” and which “dissolves life” and “sends it upward to the heat of a divine nature.” Thus Jupiter in Capricorn finds itself within ancestral land set apart from farming and fertilizing, where the putrefaction and deep contemplation of Saturn finds its home.
While Capricorn’s association with death and ascent to the realm of immortals could be interpreted as revealing the priestly nature of Jupiter in Capricorn being particularly attuned to communing with ancestors, it also shows the difficulty that the generous and optimistic nature of Jupiter encounters in Capricorn. Faced with fear of survival or scarcity of resources in the rocky expanse of Capricorn, Jupiter’s impetus for growth and expansion can become overly materialistic with ambitious desire to attain status and control outcomes. Jupiter in Capricorn potentially can conform to a crystallized, Saturnian concept of cultural expectations for success rather than an authentic path that necessitates straying from mainstream beliefs and values. In order for Jupiter in Capricorn to access its higher gifts, it needs to follow the higher path of Saturn which involves setting oneself apart from the consensus to discern inner truth.
There is also a unique creative expression that can be accessed through each planet in fall, in accordance with the nature of its ruler. In Capricorn, Jupiter has the resources of Saturn at its disposal that can enable the manifestation of imaginal vision into enduring forms and structures through the hard work and disciplined determination which pleases Saturn. There is a long list of Jupiter in Capricorn natives who achieved immortality through their creativity such as John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Charlie Chaplin, Isadora Duncan, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Wilde, Stéphane Mallarmé, Jean Cocteau, and Beethoven, as well as modern visionary groundbreakers such as RuPaul and Mark Zuckerberg (Zuckerberg also being an example of Jupiter’s excessive potential ambition in Capricorn). There is a steadiness found with Jupiter in Capricorn that can be utilized to strategize ways of persisting through obstacles and setbacks in order to achieve longterm goals.
In keeping with the philosophical nature of Jupiter being placed in the home of contemplative Saturn, there are also numerous notable intellectuals and philosophers such as William James, Karl Marx, Albert Camus, and Martin Heidegger born with Jupiter in Capricorn. Heidegger is particularly interesting in connection with Capricorn as a place of death, as his philosophy involved making an authentic change through facing death and taking the responsibility to resist conforming to dominant social norms and conventions. Jupiter in Capricorn is also found in the horoscope of metaphysical visionaries Emmanuel Swedenborg and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, both of whom worked within the sympathy found between the celestial realm above with the earth below. During the challenging times portended by the coming transits of 2020, we will need to rely upon Jupiter in Capricorn’s capacity for bringing imaginal vision into the stark reality of circumstances with a focus on making pragmatic results that address the collective breakdown and disintegration occurring.
Devil Arcanum from Pagan Otherworlds tarot deck
Jupiter & Pluto in Capricorn
Perhaps the most massive influence upon Jupiter’s transit through Capricorn will be the three conjunctions it will form with Pluto. The most recent unions between Jupiter and Pluto took place in 2007 in Sagittarius, in 1994 in Scorpio, in 1981 in Libra, in 1968 in Virgo, in 1956 in Leo, in 1943 in Leo, in 1931 in Cancer, and in 1918 in Cancer. When Jupiter combines with Pluto, new knowledge and growth opportunities come from eruptions and catharsis that expand vision beyond previous restrictions. Jupiter can help cohere whatever has fallen apart during the alignment of Saturn and Pluto in the past year, regenerating visions of possibility from the breakdown and decay while asking difficult questions and exploring the taboo. While it’s common for people to resist the deep shifts stirred up by Pluto, the potential explosiveness of its melding with Jupiter will make it important to follow inner promptings for change so that repression does not ultimately lead to implosion.
Pluto conjoining Jupiter will bring expansion through deep penetration into the roots of material circumstances, retrieving lessons, wisdom, and treasure from the inner depths of our unconscious. We will work best with Jupiter and Pluto when finding joy in creation and devoting ourselves to work that intensifies our fulfillment in being alive. Yet we need to be mindful of how Pluto can amplify the inflated ambition of Jupiter to an obsessive degree that can subdue our sense of spirit, generosity and compassion. Indeed, there will likely be numerous power grabs and conflicts erupting amongst the plutocracy as those in power attempt to further secure their grip on resources. However, since the 2020 conjunctions between Jupiter and Pluto will occur in the same year as a new cycle begins between Saturn and Pluto, the potency of change incited by these new cycles will be so intense that many in power will not be able to hold on to their control.
The limitations of time and space brought by the influence of Saturn upon Jupiter and Pluto will hone our core purpose and temper excessive aspirations. As Jupiter moves through its three conjunctions with Pluto on its way toward uniting with Saturn at the end of 2020, we will be most effective when working with natural cycles and aligning with the seasonal changes of nature, allowing intentions for growth to be determined by the necessity of adapting to the environment and contending with constraints. It will be important to discern when it will be best to rest and recover from collective storms in the caves of Capricorn, and when it will be necessary to climb across boundaries, take action, and participate in creating the change we wish to see happen.
South Node of Jupiter
Another fascinating aspect of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all beginning new cycles together in 2020 is that all three will be conjoining their own south nodes as we cross the threshold from 2019 into 2020 [note: if you would like to read a more extensive article I wrote about the planetary nodes through focusing on the nodes of Neptune click here]. Just like the lunar nodes demarcate the intersection of the ecliptic (the apparent path of our Sun that forms the zodiac) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit, so do the planetary nodes of Jupiter mark the intersection of its orbit around the Sun with our orbit on Earth around the Sun. Currently, the heliocentric South Node of Jupiter is between 10-11º Capricorn, while the heliocentric South Node of Saturn is about 23º Capricorn and the heliocentric South Node of Pluto is about 19º Capricorn.
The graphic above containing the planetary nodes of Jupiter shows the four points of dynamic change within its relationship with its own nodes. When Jupiter moved through a conjunction with the North Node of Jupiter in Cancer in 2014, it moved from being in southern latitude into being on the ecliptic when uniting with its North Node. It then moved into northern latitude until reaching its peak elevation in northern latitude when forming a square with its nodes in Libra, another dynamic point of change called the northern bending. Jupiter then descended from northern latitude to where it finds itself now, conjoining its own South Node on the ecliptic. In the years ahead, Jupiter will continue to further descend into southern latitude until reaching its southern bending in Aries and then beginning to head back toward the ecliptic and the North Node of Jupiter in Cancer.
Since Jupiter will be conjoining the South Node of Jupiter, it means by latitude it will be moving south across the ecliptic, inhabiting the point at which our orbit on Earth intersects with the orbit of Jupiter around the Sun. Dane Rudhyar in The Planetary and Lunar Nodes interpreted the alignment of a planet with its South or North Node as more readily saturating and flooding our earth-based consciousness with its influence since it is connecting with the orbital plane of our planet Earth. Rudhyar associated the North Node of planets with absorption of new material and stressed the importance of properly digesting and integrating the new material so it will not lead to negative issues when the planet reaches its South Node. The South Node to Rudhyar involves both a seed-like re-channeling into mental, creative, and spiritual development as well as the disintegration and putrefaction of poisonous, toxic material. What Jupiter related themes are you now facing that have their source in 2013 through 2014 when Jupiter conjoined its North Node in Cancer?
Rudhyar further distinguished between the impact of a planet crossing its north node, which he saw as involving a greater degree of cooperation between the archetypal force of the planet and the Earth, with the impact of a planet crossing its own south node, which he saw as being challenging in terms of an outpouring of the archetypal force descending across the ecliptic. Rudhyar wrote, “At its south node the characteristic quality of a planet is almost forcibly thrown upon the Earth.” Because Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto will all be conjoining their South Nodes as we enter 2020, it is as if the entire orbital arcs of all three planetary archetypes are demanding assimilation, processing, and release. We can feel their impact acutely in the innumerable crises of civilization erupting across our planet that involve complex knots of intersecting karmic strands reaching far back into the history of civilization.
While Jupiter will not be exactly crossing the ecliptic at zero degrees of latitude until February 2020, it will be close to its own South Node when Jupiter forms a conjunction with the Capricorn Solar Eclipse on December 25 or 26 that is also conjoining the South Node of the Moon. A couple weeks later Jupiter will form an exact conjunction with the true node calculation of the transiting South Node of the Moon in Capricorn on January 8, 2020. Although there is an unexpected quality to the impact of eclipses that makes predicting specific events difficult, the proximity of Jupiter with the eclipse, its own South Node and the South Node of the Moon suggests our experiences will call us to question our beliefs and obligations, shedding what we no longer resonate with and deepening our faith and devotion with whatever feels authentic.
Within the dark forests, barren fields, thorny wilderness, and mountainous landscapes of Capricorn, Jupiter in Capricorn will embark upon an epic journey holding the key for both the downfall of global powers as well as how to mediate division and bring about regenerative recovery. Stripped down from all of its inspirational resources in Sagittarius, Jupiter only has room to focus on the essentials within the Capricorn terrain ruled by Saturn. What old dreams, desires, drama, and other personal issues from the past need to be released from your attachment in order to lighten the load and make space for the new potential that will be arising with the collective changes coming in 2020? Jupiter in Capricorn awaits your engagement and full participation in building and crafting the structural supports needed to not only survive and thrive within the coming changes, but also to uplift and inspire others to do the same.
If you would like to explore the meaning of Jupiter’s transit through Capricorn in greater depth, I will be conducting a webinar on Sunday, December 8 entitled “Pan’s Return: Jupiter in Capricorn” that you can sign up for by clicking here.
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Barbault, André. (2014). Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology. The Astrological Association.
George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.
Lilly, William. (2004 edition). Christian Astrology. Astrology Classics.
Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs (1917) English translation by Thomas Taylor.
Rhetorius the Egyptian. (2009). Astrological Compendium Containing His Explanation and Narration of the Whole Art of Astrology. Translated from the Greek by James Holden.
Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.