Monday, July 26, 2021

Enough is enough: the Astrology of Pandemic-related hardship and unrest

“How convenient if truth were a shiny pebble we could pick off the beach and drop in our pockets. Stoop down, pluck it out, and it's ours.”—Brian Thomas Swimme
No joke intended, but the rumors of the COVID-19 pandemic’s demise are highly overrated. We’ve seen the infection numbers creeping back up in the U.S. of late, mostly among the unvaccinated, 

but for all the pain and loss American families and society have suffered with the virus, nothing compares to the devastation and hardship being suffered elsewhere, especially in developing nations where COVID has only compounded and magnified the precarious situations of millions, especially in regions where vaccine access has been spotty at best. The impact of unrelenting climate change on drought-prone agricultural regions and an aggressively spreading Delta variant has been disastrous, indeed. 

The Ancients were incredibly discerning when they named the primal forces of the Sky (Zeus/Jupiter), the Oceans (Poseidon/Neptune) and the Underworld (Hades/Pluto) and envisioned their essential roles in Life as they understood it: unfortunately, as profit-seeking humanity placed itself at the center of All, these forces were gradually thrown into toxic imbalance, and that imbalance has thrust disaster these days upon both developed and developing societies. Maybe I’m jaded, but I’m not celebrating billionaires colonizing space as the next frontier for humanity, despite the media hype these past couple weeks; billionaires and especially the systems that have empowered and engorged them have done enough damage to societies here below!

L-R, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk
 Consider this recent extended passage in regards to current tensions and unrest, from Foreign Policy:

“Each country has different histories and realities on the ground, particularly in Haiti, where years of violence and government corruption culminated two weeks ago in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. But they all faced a perfect storm of preexisting social, economic, and political hardships, which fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic only inflamed further. And they are merely a foreshadowing of the post-coronavirus global tinderbox that’s looming as existing tensions in countries across the world morph into broader civil unrest and uprisings against economic hardships and inequality deepened by the pandemic.... History is full of examples of pandemics being incubators of social unrest, from the Black Death to the Spanish flu to the great cholera outbreak in Paris, immortalized in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Underlying it all this time around is a pervasive inequality. COVID-19 has ripped open economic divides and made life harder for already vulnerable groups, including women and girls and minority communities....” 

Significantly, the article concludes that “the global vaccine shortage is fueling the instability,” which makes perfect sense: vaccine access has turned out to be an especially pernicious way of sorting the “haves” from the “have nots.” Most infuriating in light of world shortages, of course, is that largely due to the right-wing misinformation machine in this country, millions of doses are going unused here in the U.S. because far too many of our citizens refuse to appreciate the incredible blessing being offered to them. As Alabama governor Kay Ivey said in frustration over her state’s spiking COVID numbers this past week, “the unvaccinated have let us down.” 

So, what does astrology have to say about the tensions that have been erupting around the globe recently? We’ve talked at length on this site about the overall transit profile of our times, which is tense enough, but when things erupt it’s usually because a trigger event sets some background dynamics off. Great ego expressions of supreme arrogance and obliviousness rub suffering humanity the wrong way and bam! That’s what happened in July, 1967 when Detroit went up in flames—the white mayor of that time made a pronouncement that revealed just how totally out-of-touch he way with the reality of Detroit’s citizens, and this was still stinging in people’s ears when an abusive police encounter happened in the community. One thing led to another (as it does) and a critical mass of the population had simply had enough of that arrogance. Enough is enough is the usual trigger—when it comes to civil unrest, the dynamics are pretty consistent. 

From Detroit's 1967 riot or rebellion? Depends upon perspectives!
The broad outer-planetary dynamic of that late 1960s period in Detroit (and elsewhere that very tense summer) was the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo; it was against that rebellious background that the astrological “triggers” of the day’s transits played out that July 23, 1967: the Moon/Saturn midpoint opposed that Virgo conjunction, reflecting the weight of oppression felt by People, a rebellious Aquarius Moon opposed an arrogant Leo Jupiter, and an empowered feeling Scorpio Mars conjoined the So. Node sextile the late Cancer Sun, disposed by that rebellious Moon. Motivated by the arrogance of Detroit power players (including the police) at that time, the People (Moon) took power into their hands in the only way that felt available to them. Was destroying their own neighborhoods in protest a good, rational response to the situation? Maybe not, but enough was enough. 

So what’s driving incendiary protests across the globe where protests have erupted lately? The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is tracking 230 antigovernment protests around the world as we speak, with the most significant ones happening in 110 nations. This undoubtedly speaks to the broad disruptive impact of the pandemic, but we can’t simply dismiss the unrest as being about that alone. For the sake of our exploration here, we'll focus in on one society that has been significantly disrupted of late—Haiti—still reeling from the assassination of their controversial president, Jovenal Moïse, in the early morning hours of this past July 7th. 

This alarming event seems to have basically sealed the collapse of Haiti’s government institutions, which were badly corroded and stressed even before Moise’s rule. As in so many other places, the Haitian wealthy (especially those enriching themselves from within the government) have been getting richer while the wider population has been left to become more and more neglected and enraged, with little attention from that government. Let’s take a look at the relevant charts. 


Independent Haiti was born in rebellion against French enslavement.

Haiti’s radix chart

Chart #1. Haiti (the signing of the Act of Independence, as explained in BWH, Chart #146), January 1, 1804, 12:00 p.m. LMT (no exact time given), Gonaives, Haiti. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns software.

Looking at this chart, it’s tempting to just say that Haiti was set up from the get-go for the difficulties it is now experiencing. This radix chart features an elevated Executive (Sun), conjunct the Capricorn MC, Chiron and Mars on one side and Mercury on the other, with Saturn (ruling Capricorn) falling square all but Mercury from Libra in the 6th house of workers and the military. Tension between the institutions can be helpful if it promotes checks on the power of any one of them over the others, but all the Capricorn energy at the top of the chart (Mars-Chiron-MC-Sun-Mercury-Juno-Venus-Pallas) evokes an Old Boys’ network at work, consolidating power, often with the help of the military (Mars). “Born” in Napoleonic times, Haiti has suffered with far too many would-be despots, living lavish lives in its presidential palace ever since. The Haitian people are long overdue for better treatment and a democracy that responds to their needs. 

Mars conjoins Chiron and both widely conjoin the Sun-MC while they also sextile Scorpio Jupiter and square Saturn. The military has been the agent of destruction for Haiti’s despotic regimes at times, as well--”Papa Doc” had to overcome an attempted military coup after being elected in 1957, but once he did that, the military was turned to his despotic advantage. 

Exploitation of the nation’s treasure at the expense of the People seems to be a constant complaint against Haitian government officials and it’s not difficult to see why. Neptune (Scorpio) sextiles Capricorn Venus-Pallas, suggesting the government was (probably inadvertently) set up to allow opportunities for such corruption. This doesn’t mean that people have to like what goes on, however: Pallas yearns for justice and a fair share of that Venusian treasure. 

It's not always clear who the Haitian military serves, ultimately.
Unfortunately, connections made by the radix Moon (the People), kept humble by its Virgo placement in the lower hemisphere (5th) struggles to challenge the Executive’s (Sun) overwhelming Capricorn power: the Moon does enjoy a nice sextile with Jupiter, which suggests opportunities may exist, but the semi-sextile to Saturn likely runs bureaucratic interference, complicating and derailing such efforts.  Interestingly, the Moon also forms trines to the early members of that Capricorn stellium, from Mars to the Sun: jobs in the military and civil service provide essential support and buy “loyalty” for the man at the top (so potential “win-win”), yet that does little to keep the general human economy in Haiti afloat.

A couple of dynamics built into this chart have probably supported the civil unrest under the “strong man” governments Haiti has experienced over its history (the dynasty of “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier come to mind in the 20th century): first, the Moon’s mutable t-square with Pluto (Pisces) and Vesta (Sagittarius). Deprivation at the “hearth” will inspire volatile instability, and indeed top-level assassinations and violent overthrows of administrations are nothing new in Haiti; this speaks to radix Sun falling square the Saturn/Uranus (midpoint, Libra) and DSC (open enemies).  

I suspect that the mutable t-square made the population vulnerable to “Papa Doc’s” black nationalist rhetoric when he first rose to power in 1957, with Haiti then still under the U.S. occupation that Woodrow Wilson initiated in response to an earlier assassination. And in regards to this most recent assassination, notice in Biwheel #1 that today's ongoing Saturn-Uranus square (Aquarius-Taurus) triggered that radix Saturn-Uranus dynamic by trine and inconjunct! Maybe when Biden declined requests to send U.S. troops in to contain the chaos after Moise’s assassination, he was thinking back to this dicey history?

This would be a good leaping off point for examining a chart for the events of July 7th (Moïse’s assassination), and then setting that event chart next to the Haiti radix chart we’ve been considering. Let’s take a look at the charts below.

The late Jovenel Moise, assassinated on July 7, 2021.

Haiti & the assassination of Jovenel Moïse

One eye-opening, relevant note is worth mentioning here before we examine the charts below. In a quick look at Haiti’s radix chart progressed to the July 7th assassination, we find a progressed Leo stellium (So. Node, Venus, MC, Sun, Moon and Mercury). The proximity of the Moon and Sun indicates that the nation turned a corner, beginning a new progressed lunar cycle recently; in fact, this cycle launched at 12°+Leo in December 2020. Knowing this helps us appreciate how important human dignity and stability are to the Haitian people these days; between the devastations of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the pandemic, they’ve simply been through too much chaos and suffering. With this background in mind, let’s consider the charts below.

Chart #2. Jovenel Moïse Assassination, July 7, 2021, 1:00 a.m. DST (time cited by news for when “first shots ring out“), Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns software.

It’s not difficult to see the drama and volatility in this chart: Leo Mars rules Aries ASC from 4th house (grass roots and the “end of things”) conjunct Venus (Leo), opposite Saturn (Aquarius) and t-square Uranus (Taurus). This configuration spans the 1st-4th-10th houses, all houses sensitive to government infrastructures and the levers of power.  It’s beyond my insight to know whether Haiti needs a complete institutional overhaul, but this powerful t-square is probably forcing that issue. Not surprisingly, this t-square plays a prominent role when we place the two charts next to each other below. 

Notice that the Cancer Sun (the nation’s leadership) is conjunct the lowest point in the chart, the IC.  Widely opposite that Sun, Pluto (Rx, Capricorn) is calling attention to itself at the top of the chart, square the Aries ASC, but inconjunct Mercury (Gemini)—one of an amazing four co-dispositors of this chart.

Dispositors are planets placed in signs they either rule or co-rule: here that means Mercury in Gemini, Jupiter in Pisces, Saturn in Aquarius, and Neptune in Pisces. This is significant and reflects the divisive energies that seem to be driving events these days. In this chart, for instance, the rulership networks and aspects fall in such a way that Saturn and Uranus don’t really “talk” to Jupiter and Neptune, a situation that feels a lot like today’s politics-and-media “silo” effect we're seeing in the U.S. as well. Happily, Mercury (Gemini) provides a bridge between those factions with its square to Neptune here, but there are blind spots enough to go around. As far as I can tell, the most notable polarities at work in Haiti are between those who approve of or have a stake in the strong-man type governments that have characterized Haiti for decades, and those who want to find a path forward for the nation’s moribund democracy. 

There’s an interesting series of sextiles arrayed like a string of pearls through this chart that I think offers up possibilities for significant change: Venus (Leo) sextiles Moon (Gemini) sextiles Chiron (Aries) sextiles Saturn (Aquarius) sextiles Juno-So. Node (Sagittarius)--economic possibilities, healing possibilities, for both People (Moon) and Government (Saturn) and the dignity and sovereignty of the nation-writ-large (Juno). Arrayed this way, of course, this sextile chain contains some helpful trines (Moon to Saturn, Uranus to MC and a grand trine between Venus-Mars, Chiron and Juno-So. Node) as well. When opportunities presenting themselves are supported, helpful developments can follow. All these aspects taken together suggest that it’s quite possible the world will respond to Haiti’s emergency with healing resources, necessary military assistance, and a renewal of alliances that have been allowed to stagnate.

Now that we’ve seen the highlights of this chart, let’s move on to see what this chart looks like, set against Haiti’s radix chart.

Biwheel #1. (inner wheel) Haiti (the signing of the Act of Independence, as explained in BWH, Chart #146), January 1, 1804, 12:00 p.m. LMT (no exact time given), Gonaives, Haiti; (outer wheel) Jovenel Moïse Assassination, July 7, 2021, 1:00 a.m. DST, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns software.

Assassination Saturn-Haiti No. Node (Aquarius) oppose Assassination Mars-Venus (Leo); this axis t-squares Assassination Uranus (Taurus). Clearly, this fixed t-square triggered something in the Haitian body politic (note how the radix Nodal axis ties into this configuration) that has been crying out for serious change. As noted earlier, Assassination Saturn trines the Haiti Saturn/Uranus midpoint-DSC (Libra) and Assassination Uranus inconjoins that same point, which in turn squares Haiti Sun (Leader). We have to condemn the killing, of course, but it’s not difficult to see how planetary dynamics like this triggered it.  

Amazingly, the Saturn-Mars-Venus connection here also happens to tie into that progressed Leo stellium (So. Node, Venus, MC, Sun, Moon and Mercury) mentioned earlier. The new progressed lunar cycle now in progress is probably going to be largely concerned with rebuilding the Haitian people’s trust in their government, and that can’t be done by perpetuating the miserable status quo. IMHO, they may even benefit from a totally new chart! 

Haiti's "founding Father" Jean-Jacques Dessaline
Notice that Haiti has also been experiencing a long, drawn-out transit of Pluto (Capricorn) over its radix chart’s powerful stellium in that sign, and this transit is not done yet, with radix Venus-Pallas yet to go. It’s simply time for Haiti’s Napoleonic “Soul” to undergo a transformation that bends toward Justice, economic and otherwise. Haiti’s economy has probably been in dire straits for ages, but here’s a look at its current situation (as of April, 2021), according to

“Haiti's economic and social development continue to be hindered by political instability, governance issues, and fragility. With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of US$1,149.50 and a Human Development Index ranking of 170 out of 189 countries in 2020, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Latin America and Caribbean region and among the poorest countries in the world.

The Haitian economy has been battered by multiple shocks since mid-2018. Even before COVID-19 hit, the economy was contracting and facing significant fiscal imbalances. Following a contraction of 1.7% percent in 2019 in the context of the political turmoil and social discontent, GDP contracted by an estimated 3.8% in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the already weak economy and political instability.

Past marginal gains in poverty reduction have been undone by the recent shocks, with current estimates pointing to a poverty rate of nearly 60% in 2020 compared to the last official national estimate of 58.5% in 2012. About two thirds of the poor live in rural areas. The welfare gap between urban and rural areas is largely due to adverse conditions for agricultural production.”

This last point undoubtedly speaks to the impacts of climate change, which have decimated agriculture in many vulnerable regions, setting up a very unfriendly feedback loop of economic deprivation, food insecurity and increased inequality. These impacts can’t help but inspire anger and unrest. No surprise, Saturn disposes that Capricorn Pluto from its volatile position opposite Assassination Mars and Venus in Leo here and t-square the impatient, change-oriented and Venus-disposed Uranus in Taurus. 

The radix Nodal Axis (Aquarius-Leo) that ties into all this stretches across the radix chart’s 11th-5th axis (sorry, a bit difficult to see in this biwheel), so encompassing the nation’s influencers and change-makers on one end, and the everyday families just trying to enjoy their lives on the other. Trying to recover the joy and dignity of the Haitian people while bringing them all forward into a new Aquarius order that acknowledges today’s unique challenges seems to be the order of the day. 

Haiti deserves a better future for all its children!
Assassination Jupiter (Pisces) conjoins Haiti Pluto (Pisces) and trines Haiti Jupiter (Scorpio); Assassination Neptune trines Haiti Neptune (Scorpio). In this particular event chart these watery, flowing aspects probably refer to the “flowing” of the People into the streets to protest and demand change, but we might also wonder if this beleaguered island nation will have to deal with a literal/physical inundation of some kind as well. The conditions look right for unleashed fluidity in some form or another (economic “flows” count here too), but the Jupiter-Pluto aspect also speaks to the unleashing of “Big Power” as well. A new administration is taking shape, so it’s probably important that any outside players who get involved (World Bank, United Nations, etc.) are listening as much to the needs of the People as they are to the desires of new leadership. My hope would be that the recovery of the Haitian economy would be engineered to “lift all boats,” not to buy a few spectacular “yachts.” 


Outbreaks of disease have always inspired unrest.
Final thoughts

The dynamics are fairly simple and universal when it comes to social unrest, and they translate pretty readily into the astrology of such situations. People have needs; when those needs are ignored and/or trampled on by the greed and abuse of those in (supposedly) responsible positions, leaders the people should be able to trust to do the right thing for everyone, things can get volatile. In extreme cases, laws can be broken and the social fabric can be shredded when people feel aggrieved enough to hit the streets en masse. The key is to figure out what is causing the upset and to do something about it--not just to err on the side of controlling and repressing people's behavior. 

Although sometimes related, I suspect that assassinations are a different phenomenon that can, at times, piggyback on popular uprisings (as a convenient scapegoat at times), but are often motivated behind the scenes by more opportunistic power plays. Will investigations get to the bottom of this latest one in Haiti? Time will tell. Meanwhile, the Haitian people's voices deserve to be heard and taken seriously. 

To accomplish any of this, however, it seems to me that we need to start framing our thinking about social upheaval and change in the broadest possible context: simply put, we need to start acknowledging that this turmoil is unfolding in the midst of increasingly aggressive changes to the climate and severe challenges to human life on this planet (cue this pandemic and others like it), and that limiting our thinking to our own narrow needs just isn't going to work going forward. 

Here’s a convenient truth we can “drop in our pockets,” as Brian Thomas Swimme puts it: those primal “gods” of the Ancients will hold sway over human affairs, whether we’re paying attention or not! 


"Primal Forces: in Black & White," Anne Doris-Eisner

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. See the Publications tab on this site for a list of Raye’s recent E-books on current topics.   

For information about individual chart readings, contact: 

© Raye Robertson 2021. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Of Natural Grace in the midst of turmoil: the 2022 Jupiter-Neptune cycle

This article has been updated and expanded from its original, posted on the TMA blog, on June 9, 2021. 

It’s a relatively short cycle at approximately 13 years, but as history shows, when Jupiter and Neptune join forces—especially in water signs—their combined energies can be quite consequential. 

This will likely be even more true with both of these planets in Pisces, the water sign they co-rule; their combined impact is likely to further destabilize the existing social order and will resonate deeply on multiple levels.  

The dynamics of this cycle, even apart from its sign, tend to both light and dark extremes:  aspirational, potentially caught up in expansionist and/or charismatic ideologies or religions. Picture a “Big Fish” in a small pond—he's compelled by his thirst for growth and reproduction to consume the smaller organisms in his path, to explore new horizons and to push his limits to the max by any means necessary. Sometimes he just “lurks” and seizes upon the hapless; passive aggression is a real possibility with both co-rulers in this sign.  

In fact, several significant change-producing moments in U.S. history have involved one or both of these planets in Pisces, including: the revolutionary 1766 cycle’s 2Q (1773), with Jupiter-180-Neptune from Pisces-Virgo; the expansionist 1804 cycle’s 1Q (1808), with Jupiter-90-Neptune from Pisces-Sagittarius; the “Gold Rush” 1843 cycle’s 2Q (1849) with Jupiter-180-Neptune from Virgo-Pisces; the pre-Civil War 1856 cycle itself, launching at 17+Pisces; and the pre-WWII 1932 cycle’s 2Q (1939), with Jupiter-180-Neptune, Pisces-Virgo.   

Each of the periods in history covered by those cycle hits were tumultuous, if not unstable and extreme, but by those parameters, our currently waning 2009 Jupiter-Neptune cycle stands out—it launched at rebellious 26°+Aquarius, conjunct the Sibly Moon and all the quarters of this 2009 cycle have been deeply impacted by the destabilizing force of ’Neptune's 2011 ingress into Pisces


Thousands of U.S. families lost their homes in the 2007-08 housing meltdown.
Most notably during this cycle in the U.S., we witnessed the meltdown of the Stock and housing markets (thousands of U.S. mortgages ended up "under water" with Pisces Neptune) and a global 2008-10 recession, the election of our first African-American president, the first waves of deaths from the so-called Opioid crisis, the rise of extremist Tea Party elements in the GOP, built upon by the even more extreme presidency of Donald Trump, whose “divide and conquer” tactics have stirred the social turmoil we’re still enduring—especially in the passage of egregious state-level voter suppression laws in response to the “Big Lie” Trump continues to perpetrate about Biden's 2020 election. That, accompanied by waves of domestic hate crimes against Asian-Americans and other people of color suggest that we haven’t begun to put Trumpian divisiveness behind us.  

The upcoming cycle we’re discussing here may or may not reverse any of the above extreme trends, but it will naturally wield serious influence because Pisces is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune (they will co-habit Pisces for a few months before their actual 2022 cycle launches-see chart below).  


Chart #1. Jupiter-0-Neptune, April 12, 2022, 10:14:51 a.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software. 

All of the concerns noted above make a Jupiter-Neptune cycle launching in pure Pisces during election year 2022 concerning, especially since the truly critical challenges before us, to my mind, have so little to do with partisan/religious politics. We’re faced with existential collective imperatives these days in the midst of dangerous delusionism, political gaslighting (the "Big Lie") and a clear paucity of Spirit, especially in regards to the overall well-being of Humanity writ large and how that well-being is, by definition, enmeshed in the well-being of the Earth and the journey we are sharing with her. Theologian Thomas Berry says that "Not to recognize the spirit dimension of the Earth reveals a radical lack of spiritual perception,"1 a lack that he sees reflected in our genocidal history against the indigenous tribes that inhabited this continent and lived in spiritual harmony with the Earth long before White Christians set foot here.  

I suspect that reawakening to the physical and spiritual stake we all have in the Earth’s well-being is a major purpose of this approaching Jupiter-Neptune cycle. If so, transcending, or at least setting divisiveness aside, is critical. Wouldn’t our energies be better spent eradicating COVID, reimagining law enforcement in this nation as the lighter, more constructive force it can be, and turning our attention to the very real challenges of climate change? The packed upper hemisphere we see in Chart #1 above suggests that this cycle will do its best to focus our attention on that collective level.  

For example, we’re not as concerned with how individuals will navigate the job market going forward—no, an important goal of this cycle will be more collective in nature: how to reinvent Work as we know it around flexible, life-affirming and family-friendly arrangements. If companies don’t want to help finance employees’ child-care, they could be willing to think “outside the box” in other ways, but this is no longer just an individual concern; something big needs to be done to solve America’s childcare crisis 

The Scorpio 6th house rulers (Mars and Pluto) and their somewhat testy 30-degree aspect speak to the tensions that could well flare up as this reinvention process unfolds; corporate priorities (Pluto) aren’t likely to take a back seat in the powerful Saturn-ruled Capricorn 8th, yet 9th house Mars carries a “dare-to-be-different" openness to new ideas in Aquarius and it conjoins that important 8th house ruler, Saturn 

The collective reach of Pisces may, indeed, be a saving grace for today’s needs: perhaps under this new cycle, global imperatives will become so intense and compelling that despite divisive power-mongering, we will finally have no choice but to lay aside petty partisan divisions. As noted, “divide and conquer” has been standard operating procedure during the quickly-waning 2009 cycle, and truth-be-told, there are signs in Chart #1 that we're not out of those tangled, thorny woods yet. Mars conjoins Juno and Saturn (all Aquarius) and these points t-square the Nodal Axis (Taurus-Scorpio), suggesting that conflict and competition over resources and social developments will continue to play out under this cycle. Potent technological strides will probably also be made. 

Even so, the strong collective thrust of the overall chart—aside from the sheer upper hemisphere concentration of planets, the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction falls in the 9th and Ascendant ruler Mercury falls in the 11th—seems to say that it’s time to unite behind more collective/transcendent goals. It's telling that the Sun exactly conjoins Pallas in Mars-ruled Aries and sextiles Saturn (Aquarius): there should be opportunities to engineer systems that embody this intense Aries focus on Justice, and IMHO, we need to embrace them wholeheartedly. Missed opportunities here are likely to produce equally intense anger and frustration.  

Unfortunately, in the hands of demogogues and would-be strong-man dictators (there's an ample supply these days), Aquarius can also support radical right-wing tendencies in government: we need to take those who would misconstrue their "freedom" with the right to destroy our democracy as the very real threat they are these days. This threat could be amplified under the new cycle by that potentially militant Aquarius Mars-Saturn conjunction; Trump's out there as I write this, trying to keep alive the anger his “Big Lie” inspires, and gaslighting everyone on what happened at our Capitol on January 6th, saying the insurrectionists were "great people" and there was "so much love" expressed that day. Violence against our democracy for the sake of his power would resonate as "love" with him; are the historical echoes ringing loud and clear yet?  

As we've also seen with Trump for years now, the power ambitions of demagogues can also be well-served by the delusionary tendencies of Neptune in Pisces: amplified with Jupiter, what more can we expect from him and others like him?   


Delusionary pitfalls 

So, as is always the case, energies that can be put to positive use on the collective level can also be twisted for negative personal use. Those who are particularly sensitive to this Jupiter-Neptune cycle may lean towards right-brain ways of processing reality, through images, belief and “gut feelings,” avoiding or even denying left-brained provable facts. These tendencies mirror many of the classical addiction dynamics we’ve come to know so well in this nation over the course of the Opioid epidemic that claimed thousands of lives in the past couple decades, even before COVID. These right-brain tendencies aren’t particularly troubling in some realms, like artistic expression (in fact, they're welcome), but in fact-dependent concerns like election integrity, they can be massively destructive.  

Under Neptune in Pisces alone, we’ve witnessed massive spikes in Opioid addiction, toxic and corrupt distortions of reality and excessively fear-and-panic driven responses to daily life. There’s a tendency, in other words, to see the world through perceptual filters that can, in extreme cases, be the product of gaslighting (don't believe the evidence of your own eyes--on January 6th at the Capitol, for instance--believe what the gaslighter/conspiracy theorist wants you to believe). Needless to say, this can be undermining, abusive and corrupting. Tragically, at what point will the GOP, which (with a few notable exceptions) appears totally invested in Trump's delusionary "Big Lie," wake up and realize it has sold its Soul?  

So I suspect that under this cycle, with Jupiter joining Neptune in Pisces, individuals and societies alike will continue seeing dark phobias, biases and hatreds surface that have been repressed over history, but never completely healed because they originate with people projecting their shadows and losses onto Others. Accountability for one’s own shortcomings is elusive with this cycle—we need Saturn’s input to ensure that happens.  Pluto also chimes in on this process, which could be troubling with the U.S. Sibly Pluto return in progress (exact in February, 2022) at roughly the same time this new Jupiter-Neptune cycle is launching in Pisces, tightly opposite our Sibly Neptune (Virgo). Clearly, with hundreds of mass shootings to date in this year alone, and over 900 Americans killed by police over the past year, the toxic contents of America’s collective unconscious need to be addressed.  

During the quickly-waning Jupiter-Neptune cycle we’re living out--remember, it launched conjunct Sibly Moon in 2009--we've seen the resurrection of our national “Wild West” and “American Dream” mythologies even before Trump's white nationalist "America First" vision took over, more vicious and xenophobic than ever. Even before Trump, however, the "anything goes" ethos of America's "wild west" era has been amply duplicated in the cutthroat dynamics of globalization and the radically out-of-whack levels of wealth inequality that have resulted. At its lightest, the present regurgitation of this ethos under Trumpism will catalyze a healing of our early historical ruthlessness (the Sibly Chiron return in 2024 will likely help); at its darkest, however, we will experience mounting, socially destructive turmoil.  

I'm heartened that Biden seems attuned to the need for healing and to the very real challenges we face, but as a collective Pisces cycle suggests, overcoming these challenges will take everyone.  

Related to this, transforming law enforcement into the agent for social peace and well-being that we need it to be isn’t going to happen without a broad Pisces consensus and collective commitment—no one among us should need to dread every time their children or grandchildren leave home. 



Natural grace 

Often tracking with increased incidents of natural disasters, the Jupiter-Neptune cycle can also perpetuate what environmental scientists label “overshoot:” “ increase in [population] numbers so much that the habitat's carrying capacity is exceeded by the ecological load, which must in time decrease accordingly... the condition of having exceeded for the time being the permanent carrying capacity of the habitat.”2 

“Exceeding the carrying capacity of a habitat” is a scientific way of saying that we’ve put an unsustainable strain on the Earth with our misuse and abuse of its resources, and that—plainly put—the jig is up: it’s time to grow up and take responsibility for our resource needs in more earth-friendly ways. Even the Supreme Court is getting involved these days, hearing cases involving disputes over increasingly scarce water resources between states. These issues only become more troubling every fire season: in the wake of record heat waves across the nation, what more motivation do we need to take climate change seriously?  

Here’s where I’d like to don an unapologetic pair of rose-colored glasses and to err on the side of wonder, awe and perhaps even a bit of euphoric hope that Nature will win out over our intransigence and neglect, and that Humanity will pioneer brilliant new ways for living within Nature’s limitations. This Pisces Jupiter-Neptune cycle is capable of compassionate, ideals-driven “magic,” if only we can avoid the delusionary pitfalls.  

Art c. Tobiee
I’m convinced, in fact, that embracing radical optimism is a practical way of tapping into the power of “natural grace” --Nature and Spirit at play like dolphins in the Pisces waves. Why not choose to "see" Jupiter and Neptune at their joyful best, instead of at their worst, thundering like crazed-eye horses into the Apocalypse?  

Neptune evokes our “oceanic Source,” and with Jupiter’s impulse for growth and brilliant exploration, new revelations, ideas and creations gestate in that Womb and crawl up on the shores of our dilemmas, prepared to sprout legs and wings. At its best, this cycle will support Nature’s impulses and desires: to regenerate, to proliferate, to delight with abundance—to welcome us into a perspective biologist Andreas Weber calls “enlivenment.” We must think of humans and Nature, in his words, 

“ a way that dissolves the separation between the two participants in a common household of matter, desire, and imagination—an economy of metabolic and poetic transformations.”3 

Pisces specializes in “dissolving the separation” between any two divided or separated entities, in fact, and as scary as this may sound at times, we should benefit from the spiritual Unity that this idea implies, as long as we unite for constructive reasons. Perhaps like those dolphins at play, we can work on celebrating the Others leaping around with us in this life, letting go of toxic divisions in personal, social and collective realms alike. We can shift our focus to higher purposes under this cycle, and working to protect Life as we know it on this planet certainly fits that description. 

Through their sheer intellectual, aspirational and archetypal force, Jupiter and Neptune in this border-overwhelming sign will replicate our persistent patterns of thought and behavior with extreme virality. In other words, they'll spread like the wildfires that threaten to literally consume western U.S. communities: we need to watch out what we wish for or what we model to others through the media, our use of weighted symbolism and otherwise. Aspiring to things that really matter and that won’t further divide us will be key.   

We will also want to proceed cautiously as we navigate the personal/collective divide that could be seriously blurred and confused by this Pisces cycle. Societies require sound institutional structures to function and to protect individual rights against the undertow of neurotic collective movements such as nationalism, xenophobia and racism. Of course, individual psyches need structural integrity to function well, too: Jung saw this individual/collective dilemma at work in our evolutionary history, saying, “The further we go back into history, the more we see personality disappearing beneath the wrappings of collectivity. And if we go right back to primitive psychology, we find absolutely no trace of the concept of an individual. Instead of individuality we find only collective relationship or what Lévy-Bruhl calls participation mystique.”   

Extreme times tend to feed off this "mystical participation,” a phenomenon that can be very seductive when either Jupiter and Neptune are transiting water signs. Mob hysteria and other panic-driven responses to our everyday world are potential pitfalls, dynamics the world witnessed in the ravages of 20th century nationalist Fascism across Europe (the 1932 Jupiter-Neptune cycle’s 2Q from Pisces-Virgo was especially troublesome), in the WWI era’s carnage, including the Armenian genocide (during the 1907 cycle’s 2Q from Capricorn-Cancer). More recently, both international and domestic terrorism, not to mention indiscriminate gun violence and spontaneous raging on airplane flights, have become almost “normal” with Neptune in Pisces 

Such extremes can emerge when those “rose-colored glasses” I’ve tried to adopt here are replaced with the cynical lens of mistrust, paranoia and zero-sum thinking, so easily exploited by the power-hungry. Sound social structures protect people from tyranny (Saturn counters Neptune here)--witness the threats Haiti is experiencing to its social structures as we speak--so it will be important that we contain this Pisces cycle’s ability to sow panic, misinformation, confusion and further cynicism.    

The Jupiter-Neptune cycle’s tendency to heighten our sensitivity to mythic archetypes like the scapegoat, the revolutionary and the savior can exacerbate these pitfalls—it's all too easy to demonize a people (or a system) under this energy, which makes fixing our deeply flawed U.S. immigration system all the more urgent. We’ve known for decades that the twin crises of climate change and heightened immigration are related—another reason to strengthen international agreements like the Paris Accord.   



Final thoughts 

As for the COVID pandemic—by definition, a global Neptunian affair—we can probably expect it to carry over into this coming Jupiter-Neptune cycle in some form. Helping to vaccinate the rest of the world is key here: until that happens, we’re all in danger of falling back, as the unvaccinated in this nation are finding out, with the Delta variant rampant among them. Overcoming this will be one of the most critical collective efforts—a sort of 21st century “Marshall Plan,” if you will. Of course, the economics of such an effort are daunting, and to many academic economists, frankly baffling. In fact, Foreign Policy's economics watchdogs have termed our era of economic policy "Fuzzynomics"- how befitting for a Neptunian Pisces cycle! The following from this FP article encapsulates the trend pretty well: 

"Decades of economic orthodoxy are being thrown out as the world sorts itself out anew. Governments used to care about debt and central banks about their balance sheets—no longer. The consensus was that endless money printing would unleash galloping inflation—whether that happens remains to be seen. During the depths of last year’s economic deepfreeze, stocks were soaring to new all-time highs. By some measures, U.S. asset valuations are now more extreme than they were before the crash in 1929. So are we in the Roaring ’20s—or on the cusp of another meltdown?  

Out goes the rulebook for an international liberal order based on free markets and trade, replaced by a new dogma of intervention as the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden and other governments seek to secure jobs, green their economies, and reorganize supply chains whose fragility the pandemic exposed. Nations are putting the brakes on globalization as they realign their economies in the emerging strategic competition between Washington and Beijing. Poor countries—the ones that can’t afford all this spending—risk falling further behind." (4)

It's all fueling yet another, greater wave of radical wealth inequality, FP contends, as they muse over whether we're on the brink of another 2008-style meltdown. The article also contends that the trends we're seeing come to a head had their origins in that 2008 meltdown -- so just after Jupiter conjoined Pluto in late Sagittarius in December 2007 and just before our present Jupiter-Neptune cycle launched in May 2009, conjunct Sibly Moon (late Aquarius) and transiting Chiron!  

I had hoped that when Jupiter ingressed Pisces earlier this spring that we would see a bit more cooperation from the vaccine-resistant in our midst, however this cooperation has been slow in coming: Jupiter will be making its Rx way back into rebellious Aquarius later this July and will be passing back and forth over Sibly Moon before turning direct in October and returning to Pisces in late December, 2021, just a few months before it surges ahead to meet up with Neptune at 23°59’ Pisces on April 12, 2022. My rose-colored glasses view of this passage is that it could enable a “redo” of some unfortunate developments of the early 2009 cycle; perhaps this will mean something positive for softening vaccine resistance, although I don’t expect miracles here. I sincerely hope people will err on the side of their own safety and well-being, if not everyone else's. Irrationality in the face of a pandemic merely perpetuates the threat. 

So let’s hope we won’t be back to pandemic “square one" by the time this new Jupiter-Neptune cycle launches. I’m hopeful and in absolute awe of the medical teams and public servants who are working so hard to rein in global COVID infection numbers—both Jupiter “smarts” and Pisces compassion say that this isn’t over ‘til it’s over, folks! 



1) Thomas Berry, The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-First Century, Columbia University Press, p. 83. Kindle Edition.

2) William R. Catton, Overshoot, University of Illinois Press, p. 278, Kindle Edition.

3) Andreas Weber, Enlivenment (Untimely Meditations), MIT Press, p. 9, Kindle Edition. 

4) Editors, Foreign Policy, "Fuzzynomics and 12 Other Attempts to Name Our Era," July 9, 2021,


Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. See the Publications tab on this site for a list of Raye’s recent E-books on current topics.   

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