The Planetary Nodes of Neptune

Neptune Node cross

astrology glyphs designed by Bradley Naragon

Nodes of Neptune

Those who study and practice astrology are very familiar with the nodes of the Moon, yet across traditions of astrology there are diverse, sometimes conflicting, ways of interpreting and using them. One thing astrologers agree on is that exploring the nodes of the Moon in natal charts and transits unlocks significant information. Not as many people pay attention to the nodes of the other planets, but once you begin contemplating them you will discover there is rich meaning to be found in their placements that also has a mysterious quality difficult to capture in keywords and tidy definitions. It as if the archetypal force of the associated planet ascends and descends like waves from the oceanic world soul or collective unconscious when its planetary nodes are active. This strange, significant influence is especially ineffable when contemplating Neptune and its planetary nodes. There have been a series of astrological transits unveiling Neptune’s collective influence through the activation of its planetary nodes recently, and so it’s worth considering your personal as well as our collective relationship with Neptune in these present times.

Dane Rudhyar published The Planetary and Lunar Nodes in 1971, a short text loaded with insight into the nodes of the Moon as well as all of the other planets. Rudhyar was clearly impressed with the significance of the planetary nodes, writing that having the nodes of Uranus (or any planet) conjoining the ascendant or midheaven is more significant than having Uranus (or the nodal planet) conjoining the ascendant or midheaven because the planetary nodes illuminate an essential “quality of being related to the space of its entire orbit.” Notably, Rudhyar did not root his analysis of planetary nodes in only new age, modern astrology concepts but also in ancient astrological understanding. He wrote:

Indeed, in philosophical traditions concerning the meaning of astrology it was stated that the fundamental reality of what we call a planet is not its material mass but rather the space which its movements define.

— Dane Rudhyar, The Planetary and Lunar Nodes

Moreover, the method utilized by Rudhyar in The Planetary and Lunar Nodes has a strong connection to the same techniques utilized by ancient Mesopotamian astrologers who placed great significance on dynamic points of change in lunar latitude, information found through paying attention to when the Moon conjoins or forms a square to its own nodes. The nodes of the Moon demarcate the places of eclipses whenever a New Moon or Full Moon forms in close proximity to their placement. This is due to the lunar nodes marking the intersection of the ecliptic (the apparent path of our Sun that forms the zodiac) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit. The lunar nodes also mark when the Moon transitions from southern into northern latitude or vice versa.

line-of-nodes-e1500029637840

from Earthsky.org

When the Moon approaches and then moves through a conjunction with its North Node of the Moon, in the northern hemisphere this means the Moon is moving from southern latitude into being on the ecliptic when it forms its union with the North Node. This means essentially the Moon is now on the orbital plane of our planet, and Rudhyar therefore interpreted this as meaning the Moon (or any planet conjoining its North Node) more readily saturating and flooding our earth-based consciousness with its influence. Ancient sky watchers noted this as a point of dynamic change, as the Moon was in transition of moving from southern into northern latitude.

As the Moon moves past the North Node by zodiacal degree it continues to elevate in northern latitude until it forms a square to the lunar nodes, at which point it has reached another dynamic point of change also called the northern bending. At this peak point the Moon is at maximum northern latitude (about five degrees for the Moon) and thus begins to descend in latitude until it forms a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon, moving from northern into southern latitude. To Rudhyar, when the Moon is conjoining its own South Node it means it is once again strongly impacting our consciousness by being aligned with our orbital plane around the Sun.  This is a third dynamic point of change in latitude.

When the Moon once again forms a square to the nodes following its conjunction with its South Node it is at its southern bending, its maximum point of southern latitude before beginning to head back toward the ecliptic and the North Node of the Moon. This is the fourth and final dynamic point of change in latitude. Rudhyar stressed the importance of paying attention to when the Moon forms a conjunction with its North Node, then northern bending, then South Node, then southern bending and around again to another union with the North Node, as this taps us into a dynamic process of lunar change. Interestingly, ancient Hellenistic astrologers such as Vettius Valens were aware of the unstable, volatile nature of these points in the Moon’s orbit and advised against electing charts for events whenever the Moon was conjoining or forming a square to one of its own nodes.

Nodes on lunar planisphere

Lunar Planisphere by John Russell (1806); Astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

“The two nodes are not separate points each with its individual meaning; they are the two polar aspects of one single process. What should be studied and understood is, first of all, the process.

In the case of planetary nodes, I repeat, what is at stake is the fundamental relationship of a planet and of our Earth as two related members of the solar system. More specifically, in terms of individual birth-charts, it is the manner in which the essential quality of a planet affects the very structure and the roots of our individuality as a member of the human species.”

— Dane Rudhyar, The Planetary and Lunar Nodes

The North Node to Rudhyar is a point of intake he associated with a metabolic process of building personality through the absorption of new material. Rudhyar stressed the importance of properly metabolizing, digesting, and integrating the new material assimilated by consciousness, otherwise it will lead to challenging, negative issues when the Moon (or planet) reaches its South Node. The South Node to Rudhyar is not only a release in the manner of decay or disintegration, but also a seed-like re-channeling into mental, creative, and spiritual development. Rudhyar wrote at the South Node there can be both the putrefaction of poisonous, toxic material as well as positive, creative expression.

In particular, Rudhyar connected the South Node points as being about an expansion of personality rather than building, and that it positively involves dedication to an ideal or community focus. Similar to how the South Node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in Indian astrology, 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 (or other planet) comes around in its orbit to descend across the 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 becomes focused in consciousness and must be processed and released:

“When a planet is at its north node, its essential function and quality in the solar system is focused upon our Earth-space which is then most able to absorb and assimilate it. When the planet is at its south node what is released as ‘substantial’ factors are the results of the relationship between the characteristic nature of the planet and whatever in the Earth-space has absorbed its power.

If the relationship has been positive, then what has been absorbed has also been ‘assimiliated’ and integrated to the Earth-consciousness and has produced a new ‘seed,’ i.e., new experiences and values. If the relationship has proven negative, what is being released or exteriorized are disintegrating materials, or negative existential results.”

–Dane Rudhyar, The Planetary and Lunar Nodes

neptune node vallotton print

Background by Felix Vallotton; astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

When the Moon or planet is in square to the nodes, at either the northern or southern bending, Rudhyar stated it  “operates with a minimum degree of focalization in earth-nature… The Moon [or planet] is as far withdrawn from the Earth…yet…is most active in her own sphere. What happens in that sphere during… maximum latitude becomes focused and exteriorized” when the Moon [or planet] conjoins its nodes. These are times in “which all that the Moon [or planet] represents in the fields of… organic psychological and social activity is brought to focus in… consciousness.”

Rudhyar 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. He wrote, “At its south node the characteristic quality of a planet is almost forcibly thrown upon the Earth.” Currently we are experiencing Pluto in Capricorn conjoining its own South Node in Capricorn, and so the Plutonic archetype is being forcibly unleashed throughout our collective consciousness. Pluto was last at its North Node in Cancer in 1930, a topic I will return to explore in a future article.

It is important to note that Rudhyar worked with the heliocentric nodes of the planets when analyzing the dynamic process of latitude change, rather than the geocentric nodes of the planets. Since the Moon actually orbits the Earth, the fact we use the geocentric nodes of the Moon is accurate and results in the North Node and South Node of the Moon always being opposite one another in polarity. However, since the other planets do not orbit around the Earth, although their geocentric nodal placements are interesting to consider in astrology (for example, Jeff Green used the geocentric nodal placements in his work), it is only when we consider the heliocentric placements that we find the planetary nodes to be at opposite points of polarity. Rudhyar also felt the heliocentric planetary nodes tap us more strongly into the relationship between our orbit around the Sun and the orbits of the other planets around the Sun.

With regard to Neptune and its planetary nodes, we last experienced a conjunction of Neptune with its South Node in Aquarius in 2002 through 2004, with the current movement of Neptune across Pisces taking us into deeper Neptunian southern latitude. Since the North Node of Neptune is in Leo between 11 and 12 degrees, and the South Node of Neptune is in Aquarius between 11 and 12 degrees, this means that the northern bending of Neptune when it forms a square to its own nodes at maximum northern latitude is in Scorpio between 11 and 12 degrees. This then means that when Neptune is in Taurus between 11 and 12 degrees that it is at its southern bending, its maximum southern latitude before it begins to ascend back toward the ecliptic. The graphic below has dates for when Neptune has been at each of these points in its orbital cycle:
Neptune Node cycle with datesThere are numerous historical lines of development across time from diverse cultural perspectives that can be correlated with Neptune at each of these four dynamic points of its orbital cycle. It is interesting that Neptune was discovered in 1846 not long after it had descended into southern latitude across the ecliptic. Furthermore, one of the traditional definitions of historical eras in Europe, the Victorian Era, began as Neptune conjoined its South Node in Aquarius in 1838 to 1840. One aspect of the Victorian Era relevant to an activation of the Neptunian archetype was a wave of Spiritualism such as mesmerism and seances. In fact, if we move forward to when Neptune was in Taurus at its southern bending, we can note this is the period of Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophist movement, including the publishing of Isis Unveiled in 1877.

The Victorian era also involved societal repercussions from the Industrial Revolution, and as Neptune moved toward its southern bending there were not only numerous political revolutions across Europe but also the development of socialism and communism.  In the United States of America, Neptune’s movement towards its southern bending in 1877 involved expansion of territory through warfare with indigenous civilizations, as well as the atrocities of slavery that led into underground railroads and abolitionist movements, as well as ultimately the U.S Civil War that freed slaves yet led into a  reconstruction period that continued to enforce institutional racism. Neptune at its southern bending in 1877 saw Crazy Horse fighting his final battles, a railroad strike and riots by railroad workers, and Thomas Edison announcing his discovery of the phonograph which made the recording of sound possible.

Of course, its easy to see that as Neptune drew closer to aligning with its North Node in Leo in 1919 that not only did the first world war erupt, but also monumental political revolutions such as both the Mexican and Russian revolutions. By the time Neptune conjoined its North Node the first world war had ended, and there was an attempt to broker a new peace through the creation of the League of Nations in 1920. Through these eruptions of violent conflict, we can witness the extraordinary power struggles that correlate with Neptune’s orbital cycle- across history we can observe wars erupting that involve conflicts between the religious and idealistic dogma of those pitted against one another.

Jacob Lawrence the migration series

from The Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence, born with Neptune near its North Node in Leo

One element of Neptune having its North Node in Leo is creative actualization of the Neptune archetype, and in Europe during the first world war we can witness this with the development of the avant garde Dada art movement as Neptune approached and crossed over its North Node. In the United States of America, although African Americans continued to face severe racism, they also made an immense cultural impact through the arts with the development of jazz within black communities. In fact, the decade of the 1920s heralded by Neptune conjoining its North Node in Leo became known as the Jazz Age. In addition, there was also an African American artistic and literary movement proclaimed the Harlem Renaissance that developed as Neptune ascended across its North Node in Leo.

There are many events that can be connected with Neptune reaching its northern bending in Scorpio (1961 – 1964), one of the biggest being the powerful drive of the Civil Rights activism in the United States of America. These years witnessed the rallying of action by  Malcolm X, the grandeur of the “I Have a Dream” speech and the profound resistance of the Birmingham campaign that led to a flooding of local jails by protesters, including Martin Luther King, Jr. who composed his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” with Neptune at 14°47 Scorpio, only a couple of degrees past the northern bending of Scorpio. The utopian idealism and psychedelic waves in culture that erupted across the 1960s can also be connected with Neptune in Scorpio being at the peak of northern latitude and bending into descent.

As Neptune descended toward the ecliptic both personal computers and the Internet were created that led to an economic bubble of immense Internet profit as Neptune in Aquarius approached a conjunction with the South Node of Neptune in 2002 – 2004. The Internet bubble had burst by the time Neptune conjoined its own South Node in these years, but during the same period Neptune was crossing the ecliptic from northern into southern latitude, Facebook was created and Google went public. Facebook, Google, and other Internet giants have gained massive influence over the imaginal space of multitudes of people as Neptune has continued to deepen into southern latitude in the years since.

The years of Neptune conjoining its South Node in Aquarius also coincided with the United States of America going to war with Afghanistan and Iraq. The War with Iraq will always be remembered for being initiated by an illusion of weapons of mass destruction. As these wars involved a strongly Christian civilization going to war with dominant Islamic civilizations, it has a link to the crusades of the Middle Ages involving Christian armies invading Islamic lands. The period of the crusades in the Middle Ages is the same time that the Nodes of Neptune moved from being in Cancer and Capricorn into Leo and Aquarius.

It’s also possible to find patterns of development within literature and the arts, such as The Lord of the Rings stories by J.R.R. Tolkien.  In 2004 as Neptune was crossing its South Node in Aquarius into southern latitude, the final story in the series, The Return of the King won an Oscar for Best Picture. Reportedly, J.R.R. Tollkien began writing the story that would eventually develop into the final narrative of The Lord of the Rings in 1917 when Neptune was beginning to cross its North Node from southern into northern latitude. It makes sense to me that some of the themes of The Lord of the Rings could be applied to the meaning of Neptune’s South Node being in Aquarius and it’s North Node in Leo. It’s possible to find links with many other diverse stories and art that align with Neptune’s nodal axis.

Thus if you have a natal chart placement close to 11 degrees of Aquarius, you have it aligned with the South Node of Neptune. If you have it at 11 degrees of Leo, you have it aligned with the North Node of Neptune. If you have it at 11 degrees of Scorpio, you have it at the northern bending of Neptune. If you have it at 11 degrees of Taurus, you have it at the southern bending of Neptune. We can also work in the transit of other planets into this. For example, Mars stationed retrograde a couple degrees away from the South Node of Neptune on 26 June 2018, and Mercury stationed direct on the North Node of Neptune on 19 August 2018. Both of these transits therefore activated the orbital arc of Neptune, essentially stirring up Neptunian material from the collective unconscious into our interconnected collective field.

jung red book 131

Image 131 from Liber Novus by C.G. Jung, born with Neptune in Taurus approaching southern bending of Neptune

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.

— C.G. Jung, Liber Novus, 130

C.G. Jung is an example of someone born with Neptune approaching its southern bending in Taurus, as he was born in 1875 with Neptune at 3°02′ Taurus (about eight degrees away). This means that as Jung grew up, Neptune was moving from its deepest point of southern latitude up toward the ecliptic and its own North Node. As Neptune became closer to its North Node and the first world war erupted, Jung went into his theurgic descent of Red Book visions and creative, spiritual explorations. Interestingly, Dr. Liz Greene in Jung’s Studies in Astrology (Volume 1) included two passages related to Jung’s writing that link well with meanings we can find for the North Node of Neptune being Leo, and the South Node of Neptune being Aquarius:

  • In 1920, Jung wrote the word “prayer” derives from Hindu barh, meaning “to swell” and therefore “the upward-striving will of man towards the holy, the divine . . . Hence, in common speech, one frequently uses images like ‘overflowing with emotion,’ ‘unable to restrain onself,’ ‘bursting’ when referring to such a state . . . This accounts for all those sun, fire, flame, wind, breath similes from time immemorial have been symbols of the procreative and creative power that moves the world.”
  • In 1936 Jung wrote about “the differences between the often ‘heretical’ visions that contain the raw archetypal dominants behind religious ideas, and the more conventional visions which ‘agree with the dogma’ and are ‘visualizations of conscious contents, evoked through prayer, autosuggestion’… Prayer, in this latter context, is merely a form of autosuggestion that follows collectively acceptable formulae and produces collectively acceptable religious ‘experiences’ . . . “ 

These two passages curated by Dr. Greene in her exploration of Jung’s work with the personal daimon display some of the meaning of the polarity at play between Neptune’s nodes of Leo and Aquarius. In addition to the bursting, upswelling spiritual experiences, the North Node of Leo can also be associated with the spiritual glamor that occurs within spiritual communities. Though there are noble qualities of Leo to embody with the North Node of Neptune in Leo, its shadow is clearly when power becomes abused by those placed into the roles of guru or spiritual authority. With regard to Aquarius, we can find both the conformity of modifying behavior and appearances to a spiritual community’s standard as well as the revelations and direct spiritual transmissions received by hermits, heretics, wanderers, and others who are set apart from consensus culture and religion.

ace of cups by pamela colman smith

Ace of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

The South Node of Neptune moved from Capricorn into Aquarius, with the North Node of Neptune moving from Cancer into Leo by the 10th Century, but took until the 12th Century for the nodes to have stabilized in only Leo and Aquarius for good. The time of the nodal transition into Leo and Aquarius occurred during a golden age of Islamic civilization, while in Europe it was the era of the troubadour. Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth described the monumental shift during the age of the troubadour as creating a human ideal for pursuing an authentic life rather than one dictated by the dogmatic authority of church, family, and culture. With the troubadours came the ideal of person to person love that continues into the modern era; there’s also a resonance here with the North Node of Neptune moving into Leo. Instead of conforming to the dictates of arranged marriage, the sway of the troubadours inspired the ideal of being seized by the soul’s counterpart in a romantic other. People became willing to risk burning in the fires of hell, as they were told they would do by religious authorities, in order to be with their beloved.

In 1095 the Pope called for the first crusade with the nodes of Neptune in the beginning of Aquarius and Leo. The crusades link to how Jeff Green in evolutionary astrology connects trauma with the South Node of Neptune being Aquarius. Green wrote that the religions and cosmologies created from humans projecting meaning onto the cosmos has been a main cause of wars in which one religion attempts to dominate any group it feels threatened by. Green wrote that genocide and terrorism becomes rationalized because each religion believes it has the right to control and eliminate due to being the right religion acting in the name of God. Green wrote that the North Node of Leo not only involves using religion for justification of one being right and others being wrong, but also connects with the desire of human souls for inner gnosis.

I recently gave a talk for EA Zoom Meetings! on the planetary nodes of Neptune you can watch below. Jeff Green deserves a lot of credit for being one of the few astrologers to continue to promote the significance of the planetary nodes and to actively utilize them in his interpretations. When I was younger I was drawn to learn evolutionary astrology from Jeff Green in large part because of the significance he gave to the planetary nodes, as they were an aspect of astrology I was eager to learn. More recently astrologers such as Mark Jones and Gary Caton have brought additional attention to the planetary nodes, with Jones giving numerous talks on the subject at astrology conferences such as UAC and NORWAC.

Instead of focusing on describing the meaning of the sign placements of the planetary nodes, Rudhyar in The Planetary and Lunar Nodes focuses more on interpreting the dynamic points of the planet forming conjunctions and squares to its nodes. This is the main point I focused on explaining in this talk:

 

This talk primarily draws from the work of Dane Rudhyar, while also mentioning some of the interpretive meaning brought by Jeff Green to Neptune having its south node in Aquarius and north node in Leo. I also talk briefly about the current significance of Neptune being in Pisces and the fact that recently the transiting lunar nodes have been aligned with Neptune’s nodes, eclipses have been conjoining the nodes of Neptune, and both the recent Mars and Mercury retrograde phases have been connected to Neptune’s nodes. Mars stationed retrograde in Aquarius close to the South Node of Neptune on 26 June 2018, and Mercury stationed direct in Leo directly on the North Node of Neptune on 19 August 2018.

References

Greene, Liz. (2018). Jung’s Studies in Astrology: Prophecy, Magic, and the Qualities of Time (Volume 1).

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

Liberated Vision: The Cycle of Jupiter and Uranus in Evolutionary Astrology

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This article originally appeared in the commemorative issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Astrology published in April 2016.  This first issue features articles by Jeffrey Wolf Green, Patricia Walsh, Erin Sullivan, Kristin Fontana, Kaypacha, Bradley Naragon, and many others.  To order an electronic version for Kindle or a PDF copy, as well as a variety of printed choices ranging from magazine to paperback, please go here to The School of Evolutionary Astrology website.  

“There is only a single, urgent task: to attach oneself someplace to nature, to that which is strong, striving and bright with unreserved readiness, and then to move forward in one’s efforts without any calculation or guile, even when engaged in the most trivial and mundane activities. Each time we thus reach out with joy, each time we cast our view toward distances that have not yet been touched, we transform not only the present moment and the one following but alter the past within us, weave it into the pattern of our existence, and dissolve the foreign body of pain whose exact composition we ultimately do not know.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke (from Letters on Life, p. 7)

Natal astrology centers around the moment of birth, and the arrangement of planets within their cycles ascribed to the curious thing we call a birth chart. From the moment we emerge from the womb, we begin a journey of finding meaning within a strange new world filled with innumerable conditioning influences. We are born into circumstances saturated with the belief systems of the adults who feed us, teach us, and take care of us. We are born into cultures and societies sprung from centuries of religious and philosophical traditions and conflicts. We may grow up in a family aligned with the dominant cultural beliefs of our society, or we may grow up surrounded by belief systems that are not part of the dominant cultural narrative and instead experience oppression. Many of us as we mature and experience life come to the realization that we do not align with the belief system that our surrounding elders have preached to us and judged us by. In Evolutionary Astrology as developed by Jeffrey Wolf Green, the cycle of Jupiter and Uranus involves the nature of beliefs we are conditioned to project upon reality, as well as the process of liberating from past influences in order to find a meaningful vision of life to live from.

Fundamental to the Evolutionary Astrology paradigm developed by Jeffrey Wolf Green is the need of the Soul to feel secure. Through Jupiter and its archetype, the Soul gains a feeling of security through projecting beliefs upon Creation in order to compensate for lacking actual understanding. These projected beliefs are typically influenced by various strands of consensus belief systems surrounding the individual in their present circumstances, consensus belief systems that often are out of alignment with ultimate understanding. Since the consensus belief systems conditioning the individual often involve moral principles of judgment, there can be a danger that one can be made to feel guilty and ashamed for expressing authentic feelings such as love for someone that consensus religious doctrine labels as taboo. This can then lead to a crisis for the Soul, as the beliefs it has been following to gain a sense of security come into conflict with the deeply felt desires coming from within.

Jupiter nasa

Jupiter in Evolutionary Astrology further correlates with gaining actual knowledge and understanding through experience that makes certain beliefs unnecessary for security, as the Soul comes to gain secure knowledge from its own experience. Since the Soul also has a need to understand its own nature, and this can then extend to also desiring to understand the nature of Creation itself, at crucial times the Soul will rebel against consensus beliefs that do not resonate with the personal truth being received from experience. Similar to the concept of individuation developed by Carl Jung, it becomes vital for the Soul to decondition from repressive consensus beliefs and affirm the ability to live life authentically. The cycle between Jupiter and Uranus can help foster individuation, as their interplay connects with transformative breakthroughs that can feel unsettling at first, but ultimately liberating. Here the word “transformative” is not used lightly, as Uranus is a force that can inflame Jupiter beyond the boundaries of Saturn to grasp insight unavailable in our former framework.

The work of Dane Rudhyar in astrology, who was also influenced by the work of Carl Jung, created a foundational understanding that Jeffrey Wolf Green built upon with his system of Evolutionary Astrology. Rudhyar viewed Jupiter as the soulful function of our purpose within the form of our Saturn structure. Rudhyar emphasized that Jupiter cannot be interpreted separately from its relationship with Saturn, as Jupiter receives, manages, and initiates within the boundaries of Saturn. Rudhyar described Jupiter as helping us to integrate what the external world has to offer that will contribute to our inner structure, just as Jupiter needs the protective structure of Saturn in order to operate from within. Along these lines, Jupiter organizes the chaos of life within the structure of our consciousness through love and yearning, through our intuition and imagination, through abstract conceptualization and image-based feelings, and through nonlinear awareness.

As a result, while Jupiter expands us, the contraction of Saturn in response tends to keep our growth confined to the current framework that for most has been heavily conditioned by surrounding culture. In Uranus – Master of Transformations Dane Rudhyar brilliantly described how Uranus can shatter the structures of Saturn to new awareness:

“Jupiter cannot change radically the structure set by Saturn. It can only “modify” its outer appearance and the quality and balance of the organic forces which operate within that structure.

Uranus, on the contrary, deliberately and directly challenges Saturn’s power: its exclusivism, its particularity, its rigidity. It “pierces through” Saturn and throws upon the inside walls of the conscious ego images of the more universal and freer world which extends outside of these walls. Thus a two-fold operation: the piercing through — then the projection of images. The first phase may manifest in many ways; perhaps through slow stages of progressive thinning out of the Saturnian shells — so that these become finally like translucent window-panes through which the consciousness centered within the shells may behold vistas of the beyond. In other cases, the Uranian action is sharp and explosive. It bores, through the walls of the ego, holes, telescopes, microscopes, channels through which the “flashes of intuition”, the “inspiration of genius”, may suddenly reveal themselves to the Saturn-bound consciousness.”

— Dane Rudhyar from Uranus – Master of Transformations

Rudhyar’s conception of Uranus imploding our Saturn structure is foundational to the meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle in Evolutionary Astrology, as these Uranian impulses allow Jupiter to expand our sense of meaning and vision beyond the former constraints of Saturn. Yet the influence of Saturn is still needed to structure and manifest these far-flung insights into forms that can be understood and utilized by those surrounding us in our collective.

Uranus nasa

In Jeffrey Wolf Green’s Evolutionary Astrology, Uranus is the long term memory mind of our Soul- meaning not just all of the memories from our own lifetime beyond the ones we consciously remember this moment, but all of the memories from all of the past incarnations of our Soul. Green explained this is similar to how we do not even consciously remember every single thing that happened to us yesterday, and our long term memory becomes even more imprecise every following day, week, year, and decade. Yet these long term memories remain held by Uranus, and a memory formerly blocked can suddenly come like a bolt of Uranian lightning into our consciousness through the boundary Saturn governs with our subconscious.  

In these ways Green equated the Uranus archetype with the concept of the individuated unconscious of the Soul developed by Carl Jung that correlates with the unique content of each Soul. These long term memories of the entire history of the Soul are absolutely vital to consider in Evolutionary Astrology, as they ultimately condition the majority of our conscious thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and desires. It is primarily our Saturn, our structure of consciousness, that to Green filters out these soul memories covering immense periods of time, so as not to overwhelm us. As we have all collectively through ages experienced great trauma in past incarnations, this function of Saturn serves a purpose of protecting us from being overwhelmed by past memories of trauma we cannot control. Yet though we may utilize the filter of Saturn in defense, this unconscious material can nonetheless condition us into staying stuck in restrictive thought patterns of belief such as “I have to have control,” “I cannot trust anyone,” or “the universe is targeting me because I am a bad person.” Clearly, the archetypal meaning of Uranus has a direct influence on the archetypal meaning of Jupiter and the manner in which we project beliefs in our life.

Planetary Nodes of Jupiter and Uranus

We can look to not only the natal placement of Uranus to unveil how Soul memories held in the subconscious condition us in the moment, but also look to the South Node of Uranus. Since the South Node of Uranus for everyone alive today is in Sagittarius, and therefore ruled by Jupiter, this means that the natal placement of Jupiter provides important information concerning how our current vision of life is conditioned by long term memories of the Soul. This is a key point to ponder and realize that the Jupiter vision of life we develop is not only conditioned by familial and cultural influences, but also by significant Soul memories and the full meaning of the Uranus archetype, including the South Node of Uranus by aspect and house position. Since the full evolutionary arc of Uranus as revealed by its natal position as well as nodal positions in the chart also illuminates where we have experienced trauma, it follows that past trauma plays a significant role in shaping our Jupiter vision of life until we are able to process it and activate the “freedom from the known” aspect of Uranus developed in Evolutionary Astrology.

Jeffrey Wolf Green in his system of Evolutionary Astrology connected the meaning of the South Nodes of both Uranus and Jupiter with the collective trauma that occurred in the transition of humans from being a nomadic, tribal people into the formation of agricultural civilizations. Green has written that the South Node of Uranus in Sagittarius correlates with the time period in which humans were nomadic, whereas the North Node of Uranus being in Gemini correlates with the philosophies humans created while transitioning into agricultural communities. The North Node of Uranus in Gemini therefore relates to how the projected religions, philosophies, and ethics were focused on facilitating the organization of people into collective societies that eventually turned into the nation states we have today. Along these same lines, Green has written that the South Node of Jupiter being in Capricorn correlates with the cosmologies that were developed in the transition to these agricultural societies (note: there are some born in the past century who have their geocentric South Node of Jupiter at the final degree of Sagittarius-  this still signifies the development of belief systems coinciding with the transition from nomadic groupings into agricultural communities).

So what does all of this have to do with us today? For one, it means that for ages human beings have been developing belief systems around trying to control and regulate, in a Capricorn manner, the interactions of humans within societies. This point is further emphasized by the South Nodes of both Saturn and Pluto also being in Capricorn. As a result, we all hold subconscious (Uranus) memories that extend through the South Node of Uranus into the nomadic time period of humanity that predated the development of agricultural civilizations.  This necessitates at times for our experience of the Uranus archetype to come into conflict with the myriad consensus belief systems in place focused upon the way human beings should interact with one another in society. When our vision of life fueled by the knowledge we are gaining from our personal experience (Jupiter) comes into conflict with the norms dictated by consensus belief systems (Capricorn – where Pluto is currently transiting and the location of the South Nodes of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto) we arrive at a crux in which we can feel judged, ashamed, and guilty or could instead rebel and individuate with self assertion in the direction of the vision being felt within.

The Jupiter and Uranus cycle not only leads us to rebel from consensus beliefs, however, but also brings us into contact with philosophies and visions that resonate with our Soul. For many it is vital to establish relationships outside one’s family and cultural circumstance with kindred spirits who feel as if they are part of one’s “Soul family.” The manner in which Jupiter and Uranus can make these connections can be sudden and unexpected, nonlinear and image based. For example, all it may take is an indescribable look in the eye of a photograph to notice something in a figure from another time period or culture whose essence magnetizes our interest. Through the glimpse of a painting, the sound of a song, the prose of a poem, or innumerable other gateways, we feel something within our Soul light up in recognition of a kindred Soul quality. Through streams of associations that lead us to further associations, we begin to gather around us a library of resources from which we can structure a belief system and philosophy through which to live that aligns with our Soul desires.

When considering how all of this fits into your natal chart, look at the house position and aspects formed by both Jupiter and Uranus and then synthesize this understanding with the phasal relationship between Jupiter and Uranus in your chart. Eventually you can also then take into account the house positions and aspects made by the South Nodes and North Nodes of Uranus and Jupiter. Regarding the aspect between Jupiter and Uranus in the chart, start with the basic meaning of their phasal relationship outlined in the first two books on Pluto written by Jeffrey Wolf Green: are they New Phase, First Quarter Phase, Disseminating Phase, or Balsamic Phase?  For example, if Jupiter is in a Crescent Phase to Uranus it would mean that you are bringing in a new vision this lifetime that will require you to foster support for persisting in the new vision so as to not be pulled back into the restrictions of the past. In contrast, if you are born with Jupiter in a Balsamic Phase to Uranus, it would be more about a great clearing occurring this lifetime regarding the myriad belief systems that have played significant roles in conditioning the manner in which your Soul projects beliefs. Going into analysis of all of the aspects that can be created by natal Uranus and Jupiter is beyond the scope of this article, however.

Current Cycle between Jupiter and Uranus

In this article I am focusing on the meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle in transit, meaning the aspect formed by transiting Jupiter with transiting Uranus. This is different than the meaning of the aspects made by transiting Uranus or Jupiter to your natal placements. For example, you may have been born with Jupiter in Aries in the same degrees where Uranus is currently transiting. This would amplify the intensity of the transiting Jupiter and Uranus cycle for you, making your Jupiter under the influence of Uranus more dramatically than if Uranus was not in aspect to your natal Jupiter. However, going into the meaning of all the aspects that transiting Jupiter and Uranus could make to your natal placements of Jupiter and Uranus is also beyond the scope of this article.

Currently we are in the Gibbous phase of the transiting cycle of Jupiter and Uranus, within a cycle that began in 2010 at the end of Pisces and the beginning of Aries. This means that we are building toward our experience of the full meaning of their current cycle that will occur with Jupiter in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries at the end of 2016 and throughout 2017. Their current cycle began at the first degree of Aries on June 8, 2010, coming into additional conjunctions on September 19, 2010 at 29 degrees of Pisces and on January 4, 2011 at 28 degrees of Pisces. As a result, from 2010 through 2011 we entered into a New phase between Uranus and Jupiter that would have correlated with a burgeoning sense of a new vision felt from within. This new vision would have been felt on an instinctual level, and while it would have lacked a sense of complete clarity, we would have felt compelled to spontaneously act from it in as many directions as possible. However, although we would have been called to pursue various strands of the new beliefs being stirred up from within, unless we were fortunate it is likely that there was a lack of structures in place at that time in which to ground and manifest the full range of what we could feel internally.

The developing vision we began to sense in 2010 was especially powerful as it also involved the ingress of Uranus in Aries. Uranus in Aries is strident in the face of restrictions, and so as obstacles arose as restraining influences on the vision emerging out of the new cycle between Jupiter and Uranus in the years that followed, we could have felt mental anguish, agony, or anger.

First Quarter Phase

A few years later when we arrived at the “crisis in action” signified by the First Quarter square between Uranus in Aries with Jupiter in Cancer, we found ourselves in an extremely catalytic astrological atmosphere that also involved a First Quarter square between Pluto in Capricorn with Uranus in Aries. The First Quarter square between Jupiter in Cancer and Uranus in Aries first occurred on August 21, 2013 at 13 degrees, then again on February 26, 2014 at 11 degrees, and finally on April 20, 2014 at 14 degrees. At this First Quarter square between Jupiter and Uranus, we would have still been in the process of exploring numerous potential paths involving our developing vision, but the creation of forms and structures through which to express the vision would have become a necessity.  

The final First Quarter square formed by Jupiter and Uranus in April 2014 was extraordinary in magnitude, as it occurred as part of a Cardinal Grand Square involving Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, Mars retrograde in Libra, and Pluto stationing retrograde in Capricorn. As a result, the creative tension that is always part of the First Quarter phase would have been amplified, with old patterns of thought enticing us to remain in the status quo while simultaneously our developing vision would have sparked desire to establish new forms through which to enter into a liberated unknown. Thus the First Quarter square aspect between Jupiter in Cancer and Uranus in Aries, that also involved a Full opposition between Jupiter with Pluto in Capricorn, led to an examination of the beliefs we were living from and whether or not we were living from a sense of conformity to the inherited values of the society, family, friends, and associations surrounding us. In addition, the simultaneous transit of Saturn in Scorpio facilitated realization regarding any cultural taboos that were overly restrictive and in reality were not something that needed to be honored with conformity. Through the First Quarter square between Jupiter and Uranus, the 2013 to 2014 time period initiated a critical analysis of the core meaning of our experience, a re-formulation of personal beliefs in accordance, and incited desire to build the structures and forms needed to manifest the developing vision.

Gibbous Phase

Currently in 2016 we are in a Gibbous phase between Jupiter in Virgo and Uranus in Aries that also involves a Last Quarter square between Jupiter and Saturn in Sagittarius, a Full opposition between Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, and a Last quarter square between Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius. The t-square between Jupiter in Virgo with Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces will create disillusionment that fosters a vital reorientation of vision being developed within the cycle of Uranus and Jupiter. In Jeffrey Wolf Green’s Evolutionary Astrology, the purpose of experiencing disillusionment is to ultimately make it possible to align ourselves to a greater extent with the actual truth and meaning of anything. One of the central tenets of Jeffrey Wolf Green’s work is that through the Jupiter and Neptune archetypes humans can create any illusion or delusion that they want to believe in. It is through Jupiter in Evolutionary Astrology that we gain knowledge through direct experience of the actual truth, rather than through the projection of beliefs. As Neptune in Pisces dissolves old structures of thought, and we enter into the “crisis of consciousness” signified by the Last Quarter square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius, we will experience a humbling process of needing to admit what we do not know and open ourselves to new understanding.

Indeed, the Gibbous phase that Jupiter in Virgo will be in with Uranus in Aries for most of 2016 is about gaining humility and preparing the Soul to interact in society as an equal, in order to effectively express and integrate the developing vision into the surrounding social context.  Jeffrey Wolf Green has emphasized that this humbling is needed in order to make adjustments to overly willful and inflated desires, a potential that is very possible when dealing with the dynamic combination of Jupiter with Uranus. The purpose behind the Gibbous re-adjustment is to analyze the structure of the surrounding social environment in order to discern how to integrate our developing vision into work or service that is needed by the greater whole. At this phase of the transiting Jupiter and Uranus cycle, we can feel passionate about a vision that has felt destined, yet also feels challenged by overwhelming obstacles. It is important during this Gibbous phase to persist in pursuit of our developing vision, continuing to build the skills needed to manifest the meaning of the cycle during the forthcoming Full phase.

Full Phase Opposition

Jupiter in Libra will finally enter its Full phase opposition with Uranus in Aries on December 26, 2016. Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries will come in and out of the Full phase during 2017, finally entering the Full phase for good in September 2017. While the Full phase is always about managing opposing desires for external relationships versus internal independence, this conflict will be further exacerbated by Jupiter being in the relationally oriented sign of Libra and Uranus being in the independently oriented sign of Aries. During this phase we will explore the full meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle that began in 2010, and as relationships will be essential for us to discover this meaning, it will also be necessary at times to withdraw from the social sphere in order to reconnect with our inner vision. Fortunately, at the same time that Jupiter in Libra reaches its Full opposition with Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Sagittarius will form a Disseminating trine with Uranus on December 24, 2016. The combination of Saturn in trine to Uranus, as Jupiter opposes Uranus, brings the potential to liberate our personal vision from the restraints of our past framework, healing our past issues in the process. At this crucial evolutionary gate, Jupiter will be at 21 degrees of Libra, Uranus will be at 21 degrees of Aries, and Saturn will be at 21 degrees of Sagittarius. The challenges that will be experienced during 2016 in the buildup to Jupiter reaching this first opposition to Uranus in their current cycle, will ultimately enrich the flowering of meaning and vision we can give birth to at the end of 2016.