Chapter 2: What Else Is Going On?
In Chapter 1: The Key Players, I wrote about Saturn and Pluto joining up together at the same degree of the sign of Capricorn in January of 2020, and how Jupiter will join them in the sign, if not the degree, at the end of this year. This second in an ongoing series of articles about this momentous event is about what the other outer planets – Uranus and Neptune (and, again, Jupiter) are contributing to the energetic landscape.
Uranus, “The Great Awakener” re-entered earthy Taurus on March 6, 2019, where it will stay until November 2026. (It first entered the sign of the bull this past May, but then retrograded back into Aries in early November.) Joining Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, the earthy vibe deepens, but is paradoxically also destabilized: the planet that seeks sudden, immediate change in the name of freedom and authenticity is now firmly planted into the zodiacal sign associated with security (material, especially), and the peaceful (if possible) maintenance of the status quo. And both planet and sign are of a fixed nature: neither is inclined to compromise its own energetic point of view.
When any of the outer planets change sign, the possibility of “big events” on both a global and personal scale can be expected. For example, common-sense Taurus is the sign of the “Earth Spirit,” deeply attuned to the senses, the natural cycles of life, and the environment. When Uranus first entered Taurus last spring, Kilauea volcano, spewing lava as high as 160 feet in the Hawaiian air, erupted unexpectedly (a Uranian signature if ever there was one), drawing attention not only to the intrinsic natural powers of our planet, but also to environmental issues that were already weighing heavily on the global consciousness.
Once they become acclimated to each other, the disparate energies of Uranus and Taurus can combine to bring positive change (Uranus) that has the potential to endure (Taurus). And each can offset the excesses of the other. In order for this to happen, Uranus will have to slow its pace and sense of urgency and consider the feasibility of its out-of-the box ideas, and Taurus will have to cultivate flexibility and openness to trying something new. Then Uranus’ innovative ideas could manifest practically, usefully, and sensibly in Taurus-ruled things like agriculture and food production, and banking and finance. The determination, focus, and power of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn can encourage, support, and facilitate the process, but the “Great Awakener” may have to go to every extreme to bring issues to light that have been ignored or deliberately buried, so that its planetary cohorts can get to work.
Neptune, swathed in clouds of dreams and imagination, represents the part of each of us that seeks higher levels of inspiration, vision, and spiritual awareness. As the planet of compassion and sensitivity to the plights of others, it urges caring, charitable connection to others out of a feeling of what Buddhists call “inter-being,” the belief that we are all one. Neptune invites us to “Dream the Impossible Dream” of a world where sensitivity, empathy, and awareness of our underlying unity drive the quest for peace and connection. Neptune also represents the unconscious, that part of ourselves which, by definition, we don’t know much about and where the connection between our body, mind, and spirit is made. This is why it is one of the planets associated with wholeness and healing. Neptune settled into its own watery sign of Pisces back in February of 2012, and will stay there until the spring of 2025.
When a planet is in its own sign, it operates at its very strongest at both the positive and negative ends of the energetic spectrum. For watery Neptune, the negative polarity can manifest as apathy, inertia, confusion, unconsciousness, escapism of all kinds, and loss of self. Its ultimate passage into Pisces was marked only months later by the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, where radioactive material seeped into boundary-less waters far beyond the immediate location of the accident. This event was followed that same year by arrival of Superstorm Sandy on the Atlantic coast. The ice caps are melting. The oceans are rising. The storms are getting stronger. The opioid crisis mounts. There are no coincidences.
Neptune in Pisces can infuse the work of the powerful, determined, grounded planets passing through the earthy signs of Capricorn and Taurus …or it can confuse us and undermine the motivations and initiatives for positive change.
Let’s now look at Jupiter while it is in optimistic, generous, big-picture, open-minded Sagittarius, until December 2, 2019. Again, we have a planet whose energies are “souped-up” because it is travelling in its own sign, the third in the mix (Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces are the others), a reminder that the energies at play in these times are particularly powerful.
Both Jupiter and Sagittarius are about the quest for meaning, and about seeing the world and one’s place in it in a broad, non-judgmental context. Both planet and sign are adventurous, always looking for what lies beyond the horizon, and open to new ideas that may conflict with existing, limiting, entrenched beliefs. The dark side of Jupiter/Sagittarius is always excess: too much of a good thing that can lead to disregard of necessary details and red flags; cockeyed optimism that expects things to work out no matter how much or how little effort we put into the cause; an honest disposition to “tell it like it is” that, without mindfulness, can morph into “hoof in mouth” hurtful communication; an adventurous spirit succumbing to a restlessness that leaves many things started but very few seen to completion.
The idealization and “rose-colored glasses” aspect of Neptune can combine with the optimism and “grandiosity” of Jupiter to create confusion and unrealizable expectations that can undermine motivation and progress if we are not careful. Yes, dream the dream, but keep your feet on the ground.
With consciousness, good will, and positive motivation, these planets, combined with the drive and focus provided by the Capricorn convergence, can accomplish the seemingly impossible. With an integrative approach, they can reinforce the positive qualities in each other and offset each other’s excesses and limitations. The choice about how it all manifests in the world of the here and now – and future – is up to us.