Astrology of Now: Overwhelming
Jupiter in Virgo opposition Neptune in Pisces — September 17
Readers of the horoscope will know that the coming opposition between Jupiter and Neptune is the most important aspect this month, influencing this entire period into the next season and possibly the whole year. For some people it will be the most important aspect of a lifetime.
For the refugees walking out of danger, the meaning of this aspect is clear, but every single one of us feels this one. Neptune in Pisces is super-powered. Jupiter, opposing him, both magnifies the power and distributes it.
This aspect is about huge emotion, bursting through boundaries and breaching of borders, overwhelm. These are the planets of Pisces and the images are high tide, the flood. In these mutable signs, it is about unstoppable change. You cannot resist this energy, you must flow with it. It is also about compassion, inspiration and big love.
Everyone is affected, of course, but those of you with planets in the first half of Virgo and Pisces should feel the power now. The same degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius will also be swept along. Cancer and Capricorn need to take initiative and surf the wave from the front. Taurus and Scorpio should remember that resistance really is futile. Look at the houses affected in your natal chart for a steer on how this may work out for you. If you are looking closely at your chart, you should give this a wide orb.
Although it’s heartening to see refugees reaching as safe haven, it’s as well to remember where they are coming from and how Jupiter-Neptune might be working in the Middle East. This aspect is ideological power and fanaticism, and a dissolving boundaries. It’s about grand illusions — good or bad. ISIS has the upper hand in Syria because they have the more compelling story. They may be as unstoppable as the Third Reich seemed in 1939.
Just to give you a little data. The last time this opposition was in the same configuration by sign and planet was 1849. Then in 1939, this was reversed so that Jupiter was in Pisces and Neptune in Virgo. I’ve discussed the significance of large movements of people, particularly into, across and out of Europe, under these aspects in previous posts. Also in 1849, the Habsburg Empire was still fighting to retain control after the 1848 nationalist uprisings; old borders were being redrawn exactly where today’s refugees are walking. And 1939 was the eve of WW2 when Germany burst out of its borders in the Blitzkrieg.
But the also opposition takes place every 14 years or so in one pair of signs as Neptune ploughs his way through the zodiac.
Oppositions since 1960
June, Dec 1964; Feb 1965 — Jupiter in Taurus, Neptune in Scorpio
June 1977 — Jupiter in Gemini, Neptune in Sagittarius
October, November 1989; June 1990 — Jupiter in Cancer, Neptune in Capricorn
Sept 2002; Feb, June 2003 — Jupiter in Leo, Neptune in Aquarius
Sept 2015 — Jupiter in Virgo, Neptune in Pisces
June 2028 — Jupiter in Libra, Neptune in Pisces
We can see some other mass movements (literally, people moving) in the dates of the opposition in other signs. The Berlin Wall came down in the autumn of 1989 exactly under this aspect: that resonates with now. In 1964/65 the American Civil Rights movement started to gather momentum (after Martin Luther King’s Jupiterian I Have A Dream speech in 1963), culminating in the Selma March in the spring. In fact, that Jupiter-Neptune opposition was exactly across Dr King’s asc-desc axis. Need I point out that #blacklivesmatter. On the same theme, Roots, a TV show that traces the story of an African-American family, which empowered black people and changed the way some Americans read their own history, began showing in 1977, under the Gemini-Sagittarius axis for this aspect. Sagittarius is, of course, the sign of broadcasting.
In that same year, President Sadat of Egypt got on a plane to Israel and made peace. Again there is the theme of breaching boundaries, this time in the signs of Gemini (flight) and Sagittarius (travel and international relations). It was a grand and dramatic gesture, suitable for Jupiter and Neptune. The opposition stimulated Sadat’s chart — Neptune was on the conjunction of NN and Mercury in Sagittarius — and he acted a few months later. So we can expect to see actions and repercussions from this current transit for many months, if not years, to come. The peace treaty with Israel was not signed until 1979.
Jupiter-Neptune mass movements can manifest in other ways too — not necessarily political. Consider the opposition in 2002-2003, this was at the tipping point for the internet in the West: a steady stream of uptake became a massive flood in that period — appropriate for Neptune in Aquarius, the sign of tech. Blogs became a thing. You can see the interaction there between personal creativity (Leo) and community (Aquarius). On the other hand, the other boundaries that were broken were those of Iraq, and again you can see some imagery there. Jupiter in Leo, the blustering allies, Neptune in Aquarius, lies about technology (remember the weapons of mass destruction that never were?). The invasion of Iraq was a blitzkrieg – overwhelming force, “shock and awe”. Uranus in Aquarius provided the shock part of that equation.
Of course, with all these historical moments there are other planetary alignments involved. Notably in the 1960s, the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo — now they are squaring; and in 1989 the conjunction of Neptune, Saturn and Uranus in Capricorn.
Virgo can be a tough sign for Jupiter. Virgo is all about detail, precision and analysis, and Jupiter is all about big pictures and wide horizons. But Jupiter shows us where we can grow, and maybe we can grow by taking small, practical steps, by really paying attention to the detail, and by not getting distracted by far horizons. On other hand, the details can swallow you up. One of the reasons Venice fell to the Austrians 1849, according to some historians, was because they failed to invest in the detail.
Jupiter and Neptune are, of course, the traditional and modern rulers of Pisces. So all Pisceans – sprats, minnows and killer whales – are moved by the rhythm of the oppositions and conjunctions of these two big planets. Your Piscean planets will also be under the sway of this rhythm, and that includes a lot of people with Chiron in Pisces undergoing a Chiron Return right now.
Neptune is the planet of illusion and gossip, glamour and magic, Dionysian excess and sacrifice, dissolution in all senses of the word. Neptune dissolves boundaries, identities and laws. Above all perhaps, Neptune is idealism, utopias, dreams. In Pisces, these powers are increased many times over it would seem. Whenever Neptune contacts Jupiter from this position there seems to be overwhelm. When Jupiter was in Cancer, at a pleasant enough trine to Neptune, emotions seemed to brim over for the whole year for many people.
But both these planets share the qualities of kindness and compassion, clemency and forgiveness. Neptune in Pisces can be very kind or a fundamentalist martyr; Jupiter in Virgo can be compassionate but hyper critical. The cruelty that we have seen from ISIS, for example, is a manifestation of Pluto (on ISIS asc) not Neptune or Jupiter.
An opposition is maximum extension. Between them, these two planets embrace the whole Zodiac for a moment. We’re all Pisces now. The fish dream, sing, rhyme, enchant… bewitch.