Strange Behavior from Jupiter and Neptune

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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This article is based on the work I did for my October, 2009 newsletter. It is written for both astrologers and the general public, so the explanations are direct and simple. But as I worked the article, a completely different approach opened up. I could not use it for the general public (too technical) but had a good information flow for astrologers and a speculative concept I have been considering about the shadow effect of planetary stations. The general article entitled “Jupiter Conjunct Neptune: Inspiration or Delusion” which has the astrologer-directed material follows. Astrologically speaking…

Jupiter conjunct Neptune: Inspiration or Delusion?

Research for me is continual, for my current book, for my larger book on the presidents, for my other studies, such as my serial killer research, and for interesting subjects that come up moment-to-moment. Sometimes there are so many interesting subjects I get sidetracked. Life itself is so diverse, so huge, one lifetime would not be enough to satisfy my curiosity. The battle between conformity and change still has a full head of steam, but I addressed that previously. There is another aspect underway that reaches a pivot point on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 and that deserves attention. Transiting Jupiter and Neptune have been doing a great joining in the sky for several months and are getting ready to finalize their dance. October 13th’s action is the beginning of the end, but not the end itself.

Jupiter conjunct Neptune is one of those several-month patterns, one I had thought to be inspirational and uplifting in nature. The two planets that represent expansion and inspiration, that equate closest to our concept of religion and spirituality, the great benefic and the uplifter, have been in a positive joining of energies (conjunction). I wonder why it has been giving people, including me, a fit? A few first-person stories were obviously difficult. I did recommend this conjunction to be a positive influence in our experience. I did choose to publish my book under this aspect. The actual effect has been a real puzzle to me. Why?

  • Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, enlargement, benefit, the silver lining, more and better.
  • Neptune represents the principle of spirituality, inspiration, ideas, imagination, upliftment. Having said that, the planets are neither good nor bad and both sides of the coin can express the positive words I listed and their negative connotation as well.
  • Enlargement can become excess, you can promise much and deliver less, put yourself out on a limb, under- or overestimate.
  • Ideas can become pipe dreams, inspiration can become disappointment, spirituality can become delusion.

The aspect involved is a joining together of the two energies. Jupiter and Neptune together don’t usually create a problem, and this does occur every thirteen years with a change of sign. This time the sign is Aquarius, intellectual, forward seeking, group consciousness, electric and dynamic. Overall, expansion and inspiration holding hands in the sign of the future should be pretty darn nice, and there shouldn’t be an urgent need to look at the negative keywords.

This is an unfinished aspect, so perhaps the outcome will outshine the process itself. That does happen in life. At times things look great but the outcome is not welcome. Sometimes things look bleak but we come out of it okay. I really prefer it when “what you sees is what you gets”. That makes my readings and my life much easier, to say nothing of my clients’ lives. This should be a good aspect. I don’t see anything truly wrong with it and no real reason to doubt the outcome, but it sure is acting strangely.

There is a beginning, middle, and an end to all aspect patterns. This pattern started at the end of May, 2009 and culminates the end of December, 2009, the beginning and the end. What is in the middle is the process of experience, which is now. The numbers are 24-26.5 Aquarius, but there is an aura of experience around this from 17 to 27 Aquarius that can also be affected. Anyone with personal positions in this area can be directly affected (me!). The USA Moon is at 22.5, so all the matters related to that Moon are being affected. What does the USA Moon represent in our country? The people, citizenry, home, hearth, family, nesting, mother country, feelings and emotions, my country right or wrong. I think we can see a bit of that going on with the run-away, over-the-top, expanded, wild imagination, untruths, the citizenry emoting at town halls, you fill in the rest of the blanks. Just why is this a good thing?

I have listened to the citizenry, the politicians and the pundits as they have tried to:

  1. get a handle on what is going on,
  2. capitalize on the nonsense,
  3. speculate beyond belief (which has tended to make matters worse), and
  4. show the best and worst of us as a country.

Is there a positive here? Somewhere along the line a few have mentioned that the heated discussion is useful, positive, our right as citizens, American (we were born out of revolution and our Founding Fathers were revolutionaries), and purposeful. We certainly are not ever going to wonder what people thought of any point in this because they told it like they saw it.

Ours is an upstart nation to some of the world, wild and wooly, and politics is a strange animal to begin with. Have you ever watched the British legislature at work? They call each other names and argue incessantly. Have you watched other countries as they not only call each other out, but pound on each other? We like to feel we’re civilized, but that’s our veneer. Underneath, the citizenry is irate. Promises made and not kept are going to bite the politicians. This is ferment pure and simple. Those untruthful news organizations and politicians are advertising their own downfall because they are so very public with their perfidy.

October 13th is a pivotal point to the process. Jupiter turns direct and starts to move toward the eventual conclusion, which is December 21st. That does not mean that everything will go away on that date. Have you noticed that life does not work that easily? We have stirred up a lot of stuff; it will take us some time to work through all of it. But as of October 13th, we stop milling around in the middle and start moving toward bringing it to a conclusion. Will that conclusion be positive or negative? This has been a pot stirrer for the American people, but maybe it was time for it; it does have a finite life, all aspects do. This past few months have been difficult, but… perhaps we educated ourselves enough to see our way clearly to a conclusion. That would be a positive end to a difficult process. The aspect in question is not a bad aspect, so I am going to lean towards a positive conclusion. I’m a bit gun-shy in offering a cast-in-concrete positive outcome due to the difficulty of the process, but I must place my bet on the positive.

We knew going in that this would be difficult and long term. That sounds good, but if you hurt and scare people, they will respond just the way we have experienced. We knew up front that the problem was so much worse than anticipated, that it took us time to cause it and it would take us time to fix it, that getting Congress to cooperate might be a pipe dream, that changing the way our politicians do business is close to impossible (not absolute, but difficult), and that jobs would be the last to rebound (just the way it is happening). Waiting that out and working through the nonsense puts a different face on it and we have been running scared. Scared people freak out and do strange things that never truly help the problem. 

The American people do not want the nonsense to continue – they want it fixed and they want it now! Jobs, economy, health reform, military action, banking, housing, you name it. Citizens are outraged. Congress needs to pay attention and the media needs to learn not to exacerbate or inflame thru needless repetition, speculation or worse. As I said in the book, when Pluto comes up to oppose the nation’s Jupiter starting next year, they will want to be standing on the side of the truth.  Integrity, truth and transparency will solve our problems with Jupiter and Neptune leading the way.

Astrologically speaking

Many of you are familiar with Mercury retrograde and its shadow patterns, so let us start there for a deeper explanation of this Jupiter/Neptune conjunction. Mercury physically travels in one direction only around the Sun – forward. But we’re not on the Sun, so we wonder what that travel looks like from over here where we are.  If you look from Earth’s perspective, Mercury appears to travel forward for a time, slows, stops and reverses direction, then slows, stops, and resumes forward motion. This is an optical illusion caused by the change in our perspective but it seems to have real impact on life here on Earth. Mercury chugs merrily along in its orbit around the Sun. When it is moving in the same direction as the Earth, it is normal motion, forward. But Mercury is in a much tighter orbit, so there comes a moment when (through following its own path) it slows, stops and appears to be moving in the opposite direction for awhile, then slows, stops and resumes motion similar to our Earth’s travel. The period of reverse direction is termed the retrograde period. The two periods of “stop to change direction” (one reverse, one forward) are called stations. The span of travel (degrees) over which this takes place contains the shadow.

When we are dealing with Mercury, we caution the start of new projects, signing contracts, elective things like cosmetic surgery, buying a car, taking a trip – because error is common. Since the whole pattern described lasts only 18-24 days, it is easy to just pick another moment for the experience. Mercury does this 3 to 3 ½ times per year. Half a time? Yes, what starts in one year can carry over into another year periodically.

What is the shadow within the span of degrees? I will choose 15-25 degrees of any sign as our example. Mercury is chugging 15, 16,17, 18, etc. to 25 degrees where it stops and reverses direction: 25, 24, 23, 22, etc. It completes retrograde at 15 and starts forward again. To all intents and purposes, the retrograde is over right then, but observation over many years shows a residual effect until Mercury clears that highest degree (in this example 25) and moves into new territory 26, 27, 28, etc. That residual effect is called the shadow period, and that appears to me to be residual energy from the retrograde, but where no truly new retrograde action takes place. This is not only true of our example, Mercury, but should be true of the other planets as well. Needs research.

The aspect in question, which is currently at a pivotal point, is that of Jupiter and Neptune in the sign of Aquarius. The first conjunction between the two took place May 27, 2009 at 26 Aquarius 29. As it happens, Neptune stationed retrograde on May 29, 2009. Jupiter continued trundling along until it reached 27 Aquarius 01 on June 15, 2009, whereupon it also turned retrograde. Neptune is a slow, ponderous planet not only because of size and age, but because its orbit is just huge andits motion in any direction will only advance a couple of degrees over months of time. Jupiter is also huge and old, but its tighter orbit causes it to move faster and cover more degrees. Neptune will turn direct November 4, 2009 at 23 Aquarius 22, traveling a span of 3.5˚ over a 4 ½ month period. Jupiter, speed demon that it is by comparison, turns direct October 13th at 17 Aquarius 10. It traveled backwards about ten degrees in about four months.

Jupiter will then race to catch back up to Neptune, which it will do December 21, 2009. The conjunction is officially done, but there will be that residual effect until first Jupiter and then Neptune get to the highest shadow degree of 27 Aquarius 01. Jupiter does so on January 4, 2010. Neptune arrives on March 10, 2010. Is it over then? No… slow, ponderous Neptune will retrograde back in that direction on August 31, 2010, and will finally clear that point January 3, 2011. Can you see the shadow still at work? The aspect perfects itself over a much longer time than first glance allows.

If the shadow is true in the later part of the degree span, what about the earlier part of a shadow effect when Neptune passed 17 Aquarius 01 (the Jupiter station direct degree) back in January, 2006? The Mercury stand-alone shadow is a few days at best, with slower moving planets taking several days. Shadows cast by conjunctions could take years, especially when involving the slow, ponderous planets. If shadow is valid for Mercury, it should be valid for the other planets and any conjunctions they make.

Published on EZine online October, 2009, republished with slight editing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.