Pluto: Enslavement or Self-Mastery, the Choice is Yours (Part 3)

Jupiter - Pluto has status anxiety issues

 

When we read Shakespeare, as when we read the Greek myths we find a depth and richness of imagery that reflects the myriad personifications of astrological principles; all life is here, within these allegorical masterpieces. And beyond the character of Hades himself there is no undiluted personification of Pluto because that is an inhumane and therefore insupportable role, however the many Plutonic blends litter the pages of history and literature alike.

In the Merchant of Venice we find the character of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, who, is an uncomfortable blend of gravitas, resignation and miserliness, and who, caught up in a rivalry with the Christian merchant, Antonio, courts and realises utter ruin because he insists on the payment of his pound of flesh, which was the security for his loan to the bankrupt merchant. It is a marvellous portrayal of the danger with the Jupiter-Pluto blend. Fundamentally, pettiness is the principle which Pluto has supercharged and it is the expansive, generous nature of Jupiter which has collapsed in upon itself to become its antithesis.

We tend to think strangely in the contemplation of Jupiter and Saturn: as though they are polarities of a single principle, but Saturn is antithetic in essential qualities to Uranus and Neptune too. These two giants are not polarities by design and each has positive and negative expressions (skirting surreptitiously around the tendency to make value judgments as we go) without recourse or reference one to the other. What this means is that Jupiter has just as much power to go “wrong” as Saturn, but obviously, that wrongness isn’t so obviously uncomfortable from a subjective viewpoint as Saturn’s wrongness, so we can make the mistake of believing that Jupiter is either positive or neutral (when misfiring) and Saturn is either neutral (when operating positively) or negative. You only need to get on the wrong side of an unmanaged Jupiter-Pluto square to realise how deficient that perspective can be.

It is fascinating to read Saturn into the character of Shylock; he is after all, wise and venerable, but his character is entirely Jupiter, but Jupiter collapsed in upon itself, twisted by some Plutonic impulse for revenge. Where Jupiter ought to be magnanimous, it is instead petty; where he should have much to be grateful for, he is instead consumed by his grievances, and where he should be motivated by the highest good, he is instead fixated on the most negative outcomes (why else demand a pound of flesh as surety?)

Shylock

A pound of flesh has become a coda for spiteful penalties and this delineates yet another dimension of Pluto; he ramps up the expression of whatever point he corresponds with and without the transition to personal integrity there is no guard against Plutonic compulsion which filters control, personal agenda and vendetta, power games, psychological cruelty and the desire for others’ humiliation through the lens of that planetary energy. With Jupiter the filter is in part civic: thus one of the compulsions comes through being a person ‘of good standing.’ With Jupiter alone, that is quite straightforward, because we are not compulsively driven to be of good standing so we do not contaminate Jupiter energy with our unconscious agendas and we can simply strive for self-improvement without needing to draw others in before controlling, humiliating and annihilating them.

This was Shylock’s journey, and Pluto, with his contempt for mortal ambition wants no winners, he’s happy if everyone loses, that is more grist for the Hadean mills after all. In his petty insistence that Antonio be humiliated and destroyed he only brought destruction and ruin upon himself, but even then: who could possibly have been exalted in that famous scene? Portia alludes to the antidote however:

Portia:
You stand within his danger, do you not?

Antonio:
Ay, so he says.

Portia:
Do you confess the bond?

Antonio:
I do.

Portia:
Then must the Jew be merciful.

Shylock:
On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

Portia:
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

And here then is the antidote to Jupiter-Pluto problems: mercy. To be merciful is the exaltation of Jupiter. Jupiter – Pluto, sticking to the superficial appearances of the law, the letter of the law, demands (indignantly and with affronted bluster) that he cannot be forced into an attitude of mercy. He puffs up and pontificates his rights, but these are not inalienable rights, they are not moral rights, they are not even human rights, they are the rights of somebody who perceives that they have been wronged, so they have the right to vengeance.

Every word in the thesaurus of Jupiter is corrupted by Pluto. Shylock is superficial where Jupiter in his dignity should be deep. He is vengeful where he should be merciful, petty where he should be magnanimous, indignant where he should be tolerant and demanding where he should be conciliatory. And these are the compulsions therefore of Jupiter-Pluto. Pettiness, puffed-up self-importance, a lack of faith in others which might be best understood as ascribing the lowest motives to others, which is no more than a projection of the mean-spiritedness of Jupiter-Pluto itself.

Shylock is the caricature of this energy, he is grasping, mean, indignant and spiteful, and he abuses any power that is given him in his quest for revenge on those he feels have held him back and thwarted his ambitions. Jupiter-Pluto is ambitious, but not in the way of Saturn which craves authority, but rather in Jupiter’s vein, which craves the admiration of the pauper for all his glories. Thus wealth and status are the rungs on the ladder of power and control and this combination can make social climbers, arrant snobs and the type that prefers to look down his nose rather than straight in the eye.

But as with any Plutonic issue, the compulsion is simply behaviour that is designed specifically to mask the underlying Plutonic anxiety. This is the same as for Venus-Pluto which has anxiety about being loved and lovable, except with Jupiter, the anxiety is all about inferiority. In my experience, people with Jupiter-Pluto problems are terrified that people will find out about their humble roots, that they are actually quite poor or that their parents were lowly Welsh coal-miners, so they seek to assuage this anxiety by garnering status, and the trappings of wealth and success. Very often with the hard contacts there is some class anxiety and these people will garner various elements into their lives not because they want those things in and of themselves, but because they mask any hint of poverty, low-class or mediocrity which are, at root, the architects of the Plutonic anxiety driving the compulsion.

Fortunately the compulsion follows a highly recognisable pattern. As ever, the energy seeks to personify itself within people and situations, and Pluto in this instance attempts to polarise Jupiter-Pluto energy accordingly, so the native will set him or herself in the superior role whilst ascribing all sorts of degrading, lowly and humiliating characteristics to his or her opponent in order that they are cast in the inferior role. Jupiter – Pluto people are those types that seem to consider themselves to be ‘better’ in some manner that feels very uncomfortable to the target. Really though, when the Jupiter-Pluto opponent calls you ‘a loser’ (or a few hundred years ago ‘a peasant’) they are simply projecting their anxiety about their own inferiority. The next stage calls for a battle of resources. The native will attempt, by fair means or foul, to deny you resources – which is a tactic typical of all Plutonic contacts – while maximising their own. In the case of Moon-Pluto, the resources that are compulsively procured are more likely to have to do with security (which is why people with hard Moon-Pluto contacts often flirt with homelessness), but where Jupiter is concerned the resources are entirely status focused.

Saturn has this propensity too (as we shall see in our next article), and this is one area of note in this discussion because in many ways contacts between Jupiter or Saturn and Pluto are the hardest Plutonic connections to manage. Contacts with personal planets are felt with enormous urgency precisely because those planets are personal. The discomfort of Pluto is felt keenly within the human core. Contacts with outer planets are entirely transpersonal and are very difficult to actualise, hence they are not felt with anything like the same intensity. Jupiter and Saturn sit somewhere in between: they are close enough to evince truly unpleasant and Plutonic effects, but far enough away to not cause enough personal discomfort to grate. People can go for years compulsively projecting Pluto through these intermediaries without realising how entirely compulsive they are being. In a sense this has to do with the societal nature of Jupiter and Saturn, so the compulsion can be, if you like, masked with civic and status concerns. And let us be clear, they are both status-driven, albeit with markedly different flavours. Jupiter craves the status of wealth and celebrity, Saturn the status of authority and respect. They are the Lord and the Judge respectively. The former desires the grand home, the fast cars and the trophy wife (or husband), the latter desires a position of moral superiority, position and rank within the church, the community or the profession. So, crucially, whatever the precise flavour we can say of both these planets in contact with Pluto that there is status anxiety and therefore status compulsion.

I know people with Jupiter-Pluto contacts naturally, and they are usually the types that proclaim their desire to be millionaires before the age of 30, they will buy themsleves a Porsche (which they cannot afford), and dress their children in ‘brands’ because the reflection is then a balm for their status anxiety. By the same token, their expenditure on their children will usually be entirely dependent on how it reflects on them in the eyes of society. They will pay for music lessons (so that they can boast about their child’s musical prowess), but will feed them only the value line of foodstuffs, considering anything more a waste of money.  Frequently these people invest all their resources in the trappings of wealth but are miserly in areas that are not ‘seen’ by others outside the intimate circle. So they will drive a Porsche and yet their home is filled with the cheapest yard-sale furniture. Their grand country home may be another accoutrement of status, but everyone inside sits shivering through the winter because the Jupiter-Pluto owner is too miserly to spend money on heating, since that isn’t an expenditure which can be appreciated by society at large.

The challenge for Jupiter – Pluto is clear because uncannily (or not), everyone with these contacts who does not manage to rein them in and transform Jupiter from grasping to generous, whining to magnanimous and superficial to deep eventually loses the whole lot. This is an aspect that forces one to lose even the shirt off one’s back if allowed to run too far. That is Pluto’s greatest trick of course, upping the ante until the stakes are life-threateningly high. Status-anxiety is the clue. If you want that car, that handbag, that diamond ring, then ask yourself why it matters. Once again, ask the Pluto question: can I just let this go? If not, why not?

Jupiter meets Saturn, is the glass half-full or half-empty?

When the big boys of the solar system get together, it can be a real contest.

Angela asks: “I have a Saturn/Jupiter Conjunction in the 5th house. Can you shed any light on this remarkable pairing – valid information is scarce at best!

The conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn occurs every 20 years and is in consideration not dissimlar to the conjunction of Venus with Mars, albeit writ large; while the manifestated effects are entirely different, the discomfort of blending opposed archetypes is common. It is a conjunction therefore containing the spirit of opposition at its core, and balancing is key, but this balancing act is not nearly so problematic as with Venus and Mars. These planets meet up in 200 year elemental cycles and 1980-81 saw the shift from earth to air (although the conjunction moved back into earth in 2000). Strictly speaking, neither Jupiter nor Saturn can be considered personal planets; so their combination is not always easy to apprehend subjectively, the effects are more pronounced when the conjunction is itself aspected by a personal planet. This is extremely important, a peregrine island (i.e. a Ptolemaically unaspected conjunction) of Jupiter – Saturn would be an experientially obscure impetus and you might be largely oblivious to its effects without the – dubious – benefit of major transits or directions.

This article deals most directly with the conjunction between the two, but indeed, all aspects are valid for consideration; bearing in mind that easy aspects tend to favour lower-friction exchanges, not easier ones!

One of the intriguing technical insights into the aspect is determining which planet is stronger. This is much easier to ascertain with Venus and Mars, the nature of that particular conjunction – being personal – is more readily apparent; Mars tends to coarsen Venus and unless the sign of the conjunction is very sympathetic to Venus, thus primarily Libra, but to a lesser extent Pisces and Taurus, then Venus does rather tend to lose out. Venusian qualities are under-represented therefore and there tends to be an Arian self-interest and pushiness in the character that results. With Jupiter – Saturn, the last 200 year cycle has tended to favour Saturn. As a profitable aside, the decade after the conjunction occurs during Jupiter’s waxing phase and the decade before, Saturn’s, a phenomenon which lends some slight advantage over the waning body, but even this pattern has not served to give especial weight to Jupiter during the earth-air transition. The previous century or so has evinced this pattern:

1901 – Nov 28th, 13°59′ Capricorn, Saturn’s domicile (Walt Disney)
1921 – Sep 10th, 26°35′ Virgo, Jupiter’s fall, (Gene Roddenberry)
1940 - Aug 8th, 14°27′ Virgo (1st pass of 3) Jupiter’s fall, (Bruce Lee, John Lennon, Paddy Ashdown)
1961 - Feb 19th, 25°12′ Capricorn ,Saturn’s domicile, (Billy Ray Cyrus, Heather Locklear)
1980 - Dec 31st, 09°29′ Libra (1st pass of 3) Saturn’s exaltation, (Lleyton Hewitt, Zara Philips)
2000 - May 28th, 22°43 Taurus (ruled by Venus, thus within Saturn’s exaltation, also term, face)
2020 - Dec 21st, 00°29′ Aquarius, Saturn’s domicile (trad.)

Every conjunction over the last two centuries therefore (by my reckoning) gives distinct favour to Saturn. Perhaps this is one reason why the combination is considered a “pillar of the community” style of aspect: it provokes a tendency to seek respectability, to be considered reliable and usually gives some measure of civic stardom, since both planets lend themselves to community endeavours rather than purely personal concerns. House positions would be important as well in this matter of weighting; if in the 9th, or the 12th, then Jupiter would be strengthened, if in the 10th or 7th, Saturn would gain more power, but in most cases, Saturn would be given greater emphasis, so he would lead while Jupiter would follow. Caution and responsibility would therefore, over time, win out.

There are, naturally, a great many ‘broad’ effects of the combination because these are not especially precise instruments; I personally find Charles Carter’s remarks very useful (modified in our apprehension particularly for the astrological Zeitgeist) :

It must be considered potentially gloomy, for it occurs sometimes in maps of suicide, especially if it falls in Virgo. It distinctly favours a hard life, with privation, struggle or danger. The native essays difficult though sometimes glorious feats and may acquire fame through performances of great arduousness, either mental, physical or spiritual. It is distinctly a sign of great possibilities to be realised by hard work.”

This judgment makes a great deal of sense. For a start the combination will give the early life a distinct degree of hardship because faith and optimism are curtailed by Saturn’s hard opinions; it is an archetypal struggle between optimism and pessimism that must be balanced by life-experience; a sense of tempering (or temperance) therefore comes naturally to the consideration of the pair as a requirement for realising benefit. Clearly improvement (Jupiter) must be attained through industry (Saturn), and these considerations form the basis for Carter’s insights. For this reason I would say that Jupiter – Saturn contacts have an enormous number of potential manifestations but these are very much dependent upon age and also upon contacts to personal planets and the tenor of the nativity as whole, because neither are personal planets. They cannot therefore be directly expressed.

Other than improvement through hard-work, there can be a tendency to swing, ofttimes rather wildly, between extremes of optimism and pessimism, which at worst will manifest as inflated pessimism (Jupiter operating on Saturn) and this is a tendency that with age might be transmuted through awareness into a brand of cautious optimism, being able to carefully reach one’s goals and targets in life (Saturn operating on Jupiter).

So you can perhaps see that the Jupiter – Saturn contact is not so much a state as a process; as all the best astrology ought to be. Fundamentally it is a test of faith and belief in the bounty of the Universe and this is – in my experience – astonishingly pertinent to the combination, regardless of aspect. Earlier in life there is a feeling that the world is not safe, not giving and plentiful, but with experience comes an adjustment of expectations, a sobering down occurs, Saturn begins to do his slow, relentless work on Jupiter’s excessive optimism and gradually perspective dawns. One realises that provided one takes a responsible and sensible course, great benefits are possible.

The pessimism and gloominess inferred by Carter is also quite easy to decipher. Saturn is moralising and ‘proper’ in the extreme and Jupiter tends to exaggerate these qualities, many people with the contact strong actually struggle under the weight of their own strict moral codes, they feel weighed down by their own sense of justice and self-imposed standards. An inflated Saturn cannot be much fun and one might be considered, or even consider oneself, to be something of a wet blanket, forever putting the brakes on the more relaxed predilections of others in the environment. Jupiter exaggerates Saturn’s sense of responsibility, so this aspect makes the mother who is continually providing cautionary curbs on the childrens’ enthusiasms: “put your coat on or you’ll catch cold,” or “don’t climb on that wall, you’ll fall off and break your neck!”

Looked at in this way, it is easy to see how natives with this combination can ofte end up being pillars of their community. Quite apart from the sense of civic (Jupiter) responsibility (Saturn), Jupiter once again expands the Saturnine 10th house tenets of respectability, achievement and social standing. It also tends to increase ones conservatism, or it makes at best, a serious and committed liberal!

Getting the best out of the blend can take time, experience and a measure of good-standing

As can perhaps be deduced, Saturn needs time to temper his working materials, so it is a combination that takes patience to really kick into gear and begin paying dividends, perhaps because it takes experience to master the sense of fine judgment and timing that the aspect implies. In the dichotomy between risk and caution, there is an early difficulty with taking chances where caution is called for and with opting to play it safe when a gamble would create opportunities; this challenge is always at the heart of Jupiter – Saturn contacts and personal planets connecting with the pairing will often give a sense of how this tends to manifest. If Venus conjoins in some way, then both money and love are areas of immense early difficulty (or at least concern); the native will often tend to stick when they should twist and as a result struggle to learn good lessons. The next time that love (or an investment opportunity) comes their way they will remember the hard lesson from before and be cautious and thus lose an opportunity for happiness or profit or alternately take a wild chance (with an exclamation of “what the hell!”) on a bad bet and find themselves subsequently crushed. It takes a long time for these natives to learn how to judge each case on its own terms and this is because Jupiter overly-inflates the value of Saturn’s experience. If Mars is configured, it takes great experience before the native understands when and how to assert, and it can be a long and painful road to tread for anyone with Mars connected to this pairing, quite apart from the enervation of swinging between periods of high-energy and enthusiasm and general exhaustion and pessimism. Both Mars and Mercury with Jupiter/Saturn tends to speak too plainly when circumspection is called for, and keep its counsel when free discourse would be appreciated, until experience can be brought to bear.

Crucially though, the effects are much easier to isolate when any personal planet is configured, either by aspect or through a halfsum picture. Mars = Jupiter/Saturn will evince the aformementioned effect with regard to energy and assertion, as will Mars squaring Jupiter conjunct Saturn (which is in itself a halfsum picture as well when in tight orb of course).

On the whole though, this aspect is a good teacher, so long as neither archetype is allowed to gain the upper hand, and with time, age and (often bitter) experience, there can be a real power of application and industry applied to worthy goals with subsequent achievement. The highest realisation of the combination is the enlightened judge, the judicious optimist and having faith in one’s responsible, considered nature and ability to keep improving is key to manifesting the best potentials of the combination.

Perhaps Saint Francis of Assisi coined best the mantra for those with aspects between these distant bodies:

“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Amen to that.

A Sea Change on the Horizon?

seachange

For many months now I have been watching the future. Inevitably this is a key concern of the astrologer, the Uranian, the Aquarian, the 11th house individual, but actually, this coming month there is an astrological event of staggering magnitude in the making.

So far as I can work out, 27th of May will be a day of great importance in the destiny of this world.

Of course, better astrologers than I have come unstuck through making such bold proclamations and I do not wish to characterise this “happening” as having any profoundly calamitous or dramatic overtones, indeed, the nature of it all suggests that it may be much more subtle than we at first understand and of course, to pinpoint a day is also a little presumptuous, since this is only the point of greatest intensity, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The event: in astrological terms at least, is a super-conjunction of Jupiter with Neptune and Chiron within a 15 minute orb of 26° Aquarius.

Below is the chart for the evening of 27th May, at five past nine in the evening here in the UK. I have looked at this in numerous ways most especially regarding house systems. I have experimented with putting the stellium on the 1st to judge its expression, using an arbitrary point in space, and placing the Sun on the 1st too in the tradition of daily horoscope writers, but in the end I have decided upon a simple 0° Aries configuration: it is the birth point into consciousness and form and this I believe will give the easiest route to interpretation.

Before I begin to explore the scenarios it might be as well to talk about generalisations. Jupiter – Neptune contacts speak to spiritual philosophy, non-materialism, matters of faith and religion, disappointed hopes, idealism, speculation and financial wipeout. Neptunian affairs are expanded and Jupiterian concerns are dissolved or transcended. Chiron enters the fray and themes of wounding and healing are highlighted, but these are humanity’s wounds and the effects are undoubtedly global.

One way of getting a flavour of the contacts is to look at what was going on the last time these contacts were made. Jupiter was conjunct Chiron in 1990, just days before Iraq invaded Kuwait and today, mere days before the next contact the UK is pulling its troops out of Iraq. Is this the end of the Iraq problem? Consider that the last time that Neptune was conjunct both Jupiter and Chiron was in September 1945, within a day of the end of the second world war and at the end of that set of contacts, the United Nations was formed

Before that, the last time the same superconjunction occurred was in the summer of 1881 when Britain signed the Pretoria treaty which ended the Boer war, within 3 days of the closest contact between Ju/Ne/Ch. The cessation of wars therefore appears to be a theme of the great conjunction of these planetary superpowers with the rogue comet Chiron.

ju_ch_ne021

There are an enormous number of potentials here and it would be best to start with the most obvious, and possibly the most unattractive.

Scenario One: Global Pandemic

Jupiter conjunct Neptune conjunct Chiron. Here Jupiter expands Neptunian energy and attaches a measure of pain to the result, pain which is itself magnified. Poseidon (Neptune) was called “worldshaker” by the Greeks and with the Aquarius and 11th house influence this could certainly be an issue which affects the whole of humanity. With Pandora configured too it could also be of case of something having “got out”, and in the absence of any concrete measures being mooted, hope appears to be the last commodity available.

Sun and Saturn are peregrine. Authority and societal structures are out of the picture and with Saturn overexpressed in Virgo (and note: the exact midpoint of Virgo) and Sun in Gemini there are themes of communication breakdowns and health problems. Pluto is on the midheaven and in Capricorn, so change is afoot, and the usual structures do not hold. Sun is also in partile square to Ceres (not a minute out) which again suggests a real vitality problem, sickness even.

Moon and Mars are strong, Moon is in her sign, in hayz and at the midpoint of the Sun – Ceres square with the Sun too at the midpoint of the Moon – Venus square, a need to protect loved ones and family then. Chiron is exactly square Algol whose ancient imagery is of piled up corpses. Proserpina squares the stellium too, so loved ones may be taken down to the underworld and Neptune is stationary at this exact moment too.

The imagery of Neptune is interesting in this context. Neptune has of course long been associated with sickness and far more than Pluto is an impersonal force of devastation. Pluto actually represents an intensely personal confrontation with the Underworld, Neptune is the maker of sickness and has a much broader and less individual reach. It should be noted too that regardless of the broad trends indicated by this point in time that the event-mapping of the moment is somewhat uncomfortable to contemplate. Pl=Ve/Sa suggests transient states of chaos, the halfsum involves Venus in Aries (thus representing the physical body via the 1st) and Saturn in Virgo and the 6th: health. Thus, chaotic and confusing conditions relating to physical health. Then consider the darkly foreboding implications of Ne =  Ma/Ur = Ve/Pl! Fainting fits, raving madness and incredible fear combined with immoral and desperate behaviour.

Scenario Two: Global Financial Collapse

This was my original opinion and I have held this particular view for more than a year now. It appears to hold true as well, at least thus far. Global conflict is, in these latter days, increasingly economic, sanctions have replaced gunboats, but more widely I do believe that this theme bears out, even mundanely. In all cases of the previous conjunctions of this type it would appear that idealism wins out after a sustained period of pain and wounding. At this time Uranus transits the midpoint of Mars – Jupiter and Mars – Neptune from the 12th house. This suggests sudden plans being formed to combat sudden crisis conditions in business institutions, and as Uranus rules the stellium in Aquarius it is a decision taken by a hidden group; the ruler is well aspected however, so I am not especially pessimistic. A world currency? This possibility has been on my thoughts for longer than I care to mention. I do have grave misgivings about this as a concept and it could only probably be put into place if a profound financial crisis were in evidence (whether it had been manufactured or not). This last factor is echoed by the square to Mercury in Taurus: an enormous financial lie (Me sq. Ju/Ne from Taurus and the 2nd).

Scenario Three: A Spiritual Forward Step

Events of this type are invariably precursors to major shifts in thinking. In 1534, when Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron were all conjunct Martin Luther translated the bible into German for the first time and the Church of England became a functioning entity through Henry VIII’s first Supremacy Act. In 1945 the United Nations was formed. These are cohesive events which create a sense of higher purpose that can be shared by all people and crucially, which offer a sense of unity and a glimpse of a more enlightened future.

Most intriguingly in my view however, The stellium occurs on the astrologers’ degree of Aquarius. This is a profoundly sensitised point in the internal dialogue of astrology and it creates quite a buzz across the polarity to the 27th degree of Leo. Unquestionably this will up the ante for the world of astrology, even if not overtly.

The Sabian is delightful too:

An Ancient Pottery Bowl Filled with Violets.
This is a symbol of the permanence or changelessness of the real as an ultimate assurance to the human heart. No matter how many shifting forms the face of life may present to man, there are always the surviving tokens of an enduring stability on which the ephemeral and the superficial are unable to make any impact. Where there is replacement of substance and variety of structure there is also an over-all continuance of meaning and identity in which self may anchor itself. The keyword is TRADITION. When positive, the degree is a high realisation of values and a real gift of using them, and when negative, a loss of self in conventionality and its meaningless trappings.

In my heart of hearts I believe that we are all faced with a choice in this life and at no time has the urgency of the withering dichotomy that is the  collision of material and spiritual values been so apparent. This degree tells us that it is time to get real about our values. We as individuals do not have to hide our lights under the bushel of shame that has been handed down to us by those with no universal – only selfish – conviction. I for one refuse to be ashamed of those tenets I hold dear. I am here to help people and I do not want to be enslaved into the empty material trappings that are the garb of those who have not dared to believe in anything more. What of it if I go to my demise destitute? The rationalised avarice of our times is built upon a pyramid of parasitism that I simply cannot tolerate as a life philosophy. I want none of it, it sickens me, although not with an angry disgust, but just through proximity to the unclean and the poisonous. If life can be better, lived to a higher ideal then I want to aspire to that possibility, and if it cannot, then at the very least I do not have to be dragged down by it daily, again and again.

It’s actually very simple, but it takes a peculiar and rather detached view of your own place in this world to realise it.

Jupiter – Neptune: Shooting for the Stars

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Shakespeare: Hamlet 1:5)

One of the great challenges of my life, as an astrologer, is the ongoing pressure that I feel to reconcile my understanding of astrology with a world that – for the most part – has no understanding of it: the same frustration must be felt by any student of the immeasurable, and from the seminary to the psychiatrist’s consulting room, the only answers to such conundrums are to be found within one’s personal integrity, so that, in spite of the protestations of the closed minded, you can find solace in your own simple good intentions and the knowledge that regardless of the narrow strictures of proof and disproof (and a lack of proof disproves nothing) you have been able to help people.

Jupiter - Neptune is differently motivated

Jupiter - Neptune is differently motivated

And that is but one of the many manifestations of Jupiter’s contact with Neptune. Specifically it describes the nature of the square, which creates a challenge for the native to demonstrate that their underpinning life-philosophy is not inherently impractical. This hints at a condition which is far more than a simple conundrum because the very nature of any contact whatever between Jupiter and Neptune is profoundly idealistic and in its first principles there is a gravitation towards those kinds of ideals that are difficult to make concrete or to actualise: they are inherently transcendent, powerfully spiritual and leave little room for mundane and material concerns.

If there is a mundane expression of Jupiter – Neptune however, it is a leaning toward speculation. Jupiter – Neptune people can risk it all on the turn of a card and quite literally lose everything, but by that same token, they are somewhat armoured against the worst effects of such misfortune by their very nature, which underlines the reality that they’re not actually all that bothered by material stuff in the first place, so the sense of loss is somehow shallower and less urgent in any case.

And fundamentally, it doesn’t matter too much what aspect you have between these two gentle giants, (as I have said before, I [concurring with the view of Noel Tyl specifically] strongly advocate the view that all aspects are squares) because there is a propensity toward idealism and non-materialism in any of the aspectual relationships, with only a smattering of ease or urgency to distinguish them apart. The square creates a tension for the native such that he feels an inner pressure to harmonise his inner stress about materialism, while the trine is comfortable and feels no such difficulty: on the other hand he or she might be entirely too laid back about the material and drift into a dissolute insolvency as a result. The results are often the same or similar with only the quality by which the aspect is subjectively experienced varying in any marked degree.

june01

Jupiter - Neptune might be best advised to forgo that trip to Vegas...

The major difficulty with any combination is that there is no especial drive to jump on the career treadmill and slog along day after day simply to make money. That sounds innocuous enough, however, in a society that defines success only in material terms, the Jupiter – Neptune individual is cut adrift with no recognised path of self-worth to follow. In some cultures – Eastern ones mostly – a monastery or mission might suit, but here in the West, the aspect only creates a person at odds with the rest of their community; they certainly don’t want to be outcast, but they fundamentally fail to identify with the raison d’être of Western life: to them, working the 9 to 5 simply to secure material rewards makes no sense at all. Okay, they will “get it” intellectually, and understand that of course one needs money to live, but they don’t believe in it. This is rather akin to working for anything you don’t believe in of course, such that you might have to do it to get by, but your heart simply isn’t in it like it is for everyone else, it seems kind of dumb and pointless, even if you still have to do it.

And that leads to one of the other major manifestations of Jupiter Neptune contacts in the astrology. Being misunderstood. The Jupiter Neptune person is simply out of step with everyone else in society, because his motivations are unlikely to be material or status orientated. Everyone else characterises this person as a ‘dreamer’ at best, or (at worst) a ‘failure’, because their standards of success simply do not motivate this soul, so they’re just not as fired up to achieve it as everyone else. Undoubtedly this creates an element of instability in material matters too. This person struggles to be all that bothered by their bank statements so they’re unlikely to pay too much attention to penny-pinching or the best credit card rates on offer and by that same token, they’re unlikely to make much in the way of money, or save much money, or really have all that good a grip on the whole idea of money, quite frankly. They’re wired differently.

The best potential of Jupiter – Neptune is for creating spiritually motivated individuals who have a truly sympathetic nature. They can listen to the troubles of others and identify with their suffering, they’ll happily make time to listen to others’ problems and offer a shoulder to cry on or they’ll relate an empathetic anecdote to demonstrate just how much they really do understand. They care, they really do.

Specifically then, the conjunction is the most innate blend, idealism is iternalised and shines out of every pore, pay especial attention to the sign and house placement. If in Libra or the 7th then idealism in relationships becomes key, in the 11th or Aquarius friends are important, humanitarian or charitable ideals are manifest and hopes and dreams especially can be pie in the sky. Wherever the conjunction falls there is a measure of impracticality, a fair few disappointments but an ongoing and actually very endearing naiveté. With the square an element of tension and difficulty is inevitable. This person struggles with the impracticality and disappointment of the conjunction and is likely to find the tendency to being misunderstood most uncomfortable and enervating. Eventually, with work and evolvement, the square ought to ease through the 30s until by middle life there is a measure of comfort and acceptance. The square is most often characterised as a challenge to disprove the impracticality of one’s life philosophy. This person can be defensive and undermined easily by others who see their motivations as baseless and unworkable, which in turn prompts others to couch their criticisms in too-strong terms. The exact same is true of the opposition, and here the polarity of houses and signs becomes paramount. Across the 2nd and the 8th there can be (for example) an idealistic attitude toward money (2nd) so that this person is overly reliant on others for financial support (8th). Across the 1st and 7th (or Aries and Libra polarity) idealism manifests in preconceptions about one’s independence, or one’s partner’s independence, thus putting strain on the marital relationship. Only with the trine or the sextile is there a convenience of ease. The native experiences a great deal of luck and good fortune for the most part, they are inherently generous (and this is true of all the aspects, albeit with differing results) and easily sympathetic and refined. The danger (as with any easy aspect) is that the ease is mistaken as a free-pass, no work is done and the good energy devolves into a dissolute credulity. The trine, perhaps more than any other combination can be taken advantage of time and again by others who have no scruples about taking advantage of Mr or Mrs easy-going. Once again, this is true of all the aspects, because Jupiter – Neptune is so innately kind and sympathetic they are all too prone to exploitation by the unprincipled and hard of heart, but the trine is so very forgiving that it takes far longer to learn where to draw the line. At least with the square the lessons are so uncomfortable and stressful that some measures are taken to filter out the con-men from the genuinely needy (at least after the first hundred or so hard-luck stories are told).

For the person with significant Jupiter – Neptune contacts, the best advice ought to be to simply recognise this innate tendency to non-materialism and idealism and work out a strategy for attending to the practicalities of this life such that once the wolf is kept from the door they might take a little ease and revel in the freedom of knowing that there is more to life than cars, houses and investment portfolios and all the other worthless nonsense that society exalts as meaningful and valuable.

For Jupiter – Neptune, the best things in life really are free.