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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