Jupiter is the planet that signifies expansion. It does this in many ways. It can expand our learning by urging us to seek greater understanding through the study of philosophy, religion and higher (abstract) concepts. Also, Jupiter can motivate us to travel which can enable us to experience people, societies and cultures completely outside our own personal limited experience which provides us a platform for discovering a broader basis for finding meaning in our lives. Every time you feel your mind expand or your understanding grow, you are living in Jupiter’s realm. For the most part, however, Jupiter does stay in a relatively conventional area. When Jupiter dominates a person they often find themselves in careers of law, education, or religion, etc. Maybe even a quantum physicist or two will be found as well. What they have in common is that they seek to understand how the world works and perhaps desire to teach what they have learned.
Neptune though, takes us into very different territory, a world that is beyond mere words or knowledge. Its world is one of imagination, dreams and an idealized sense of how we are all united in some way, though the feelings often cannot be described. Neptune destroys that sense of separateness and as such can confuse us and bring about an enormous sense of groundlessness that is somehow both scary and exciting at the same time. With Jupiter we can talk, discuss, theorize, debate and write all kinds of books and treatises, but with Neptune we become speechless and seek ways of communication that go way beyond mere words, such as music, art, painting, and theater, etc. We feel moved to enter the world of the universal or archetypal, or whatever words we use to describe that which underlies the mundane world. We sense that the ‘real’ world is a mere superficial layer of existence, the tip of a very deep world that actually creates and supports us.
Jupiter and Neptune Coming Together
When we look at charts of people who have strong aspects between these two giants, we see visionaries, idealists and people of great compassion and imagination. They see through the lens of Love… not a love limited to the personal, but a devotional, even an impersonal love that makes no distinctions between self and another. In music we find Enya, Bob Dylan, John Coltrane and Judy Collins who exemplify the incredible ability to tap into deep wells of human desire for some sort of perfection. In mythology, the pioneer Joseph Campbell saw the universal archetypes operating throughout the cultures of the world. Carl Jung developed a philosophical system that combined psychology and spirituality in a way that is so new and historic that it is still being developed today and is affecting many different disciplines.
Cooperating and Working With this Transit
The way in which this transit will affect an individual will, of course, depend on the nature and potentials of that birth chart of that person. Some will not feel this transit very much as they may not be able to resonate with its subtle urgings. But for those of us who can feel these forces, when expansionistic Jupiter meets boundless Neptune we are moved to reach some sort of higher (more inclusive) ground. But this journey is not something that can be mapped out or planned. To fixate on a goal is to prematurely create a limitation that could needlessly confine us. Moving into a truly new experience always involves a letting go of the past (conditioning) and an embracing of the unknown. What we may find however, may be something that feels eerily familiar. As we break free from rigid confines of our inner structures, we may discover openings to our deepest Self. This “free state” may be sensed as our own ‘real home’, a state that is, at least for a few moments, completely unconditioned. Could this feel unreal? Of course, but we may do well to consider that it isn’t as unreal as we think, but closer to being our true state. This is where we experience a hope that regards anything and everything as possible, that we live in a boundless, multi-dimensional universe that is hidden from us only by our own conditioning.
These are the dynamic potentials of Jupiter and Neptune operating together. It is possible that some could have a ‘peak’ experience that can last for quite a while. But what is more likely is that we will open up or be opened for brief moments that give us a hint, a smell of something far deeper than what we usually allow ourselves to feel.
Sorrow or a Beautiful Sadness
There is no avoiding a side of Neptune that is so difficult to describe, but it is necessary to try. Imagine you are in a spaceship from another solar system and you are entering this one. You have sensors on your ship that can measure the joy and pain of the people living on a planet you are investigating. What do you think the readings of planet Earth would look like? Would you see a lot of joyful readings? I don’t think so. You might be seeing measurements of so much pain and sorrow you would turn your ship around and get away from our solar system as fast as possible. Life on planet Earth is rough and to begin to feel it requires a deep sensitivity, but also something else. It would require a willingness to feel something that we don’t like to feel at all. The planetary pair of Jupiter and Neptune could open a door to our being able to perceive the deep sorrow of what it is to be human. But there is more as well. For alongside sorrow is a nobility and beauty that reflects the co-existing other side that is immensely joyful. To know the sensation-emotion of ‘beautiful sadness’ is to begin to know what it is to be truly human and that is the gift that awaits when we surrender personal ego and immerse ourselves into the consciousness of life.
The Shadow Side
As always, there is a negative or shadow side to any transit of which we would do well to remain aware. The first is the attempt to escape from one’s own (or the World’s) shadow. True integration always demands that we see all sides of any situation, including our own nature. Each of us has aspects of our psyche that we don’t approve of, which we then repress. This is what the term ‘shadow’ means. Some have called this tendency the ‘spiritual bypass.’ We leap so high and feel so good that we want to stay in this feeling of great joy or ecstasy and will do whatever we can to bypass all those things that could bring us down. One friend calls this –‘staying in the cumbaya moment.’ It is vital that while we validate these idyllic moments for they are indeed harbingers of future, potent possibilities. But to actually live in these higher states, we must honor the dark, grungy, yucky, sucky feelings that compose a part of each and every day of our lives. This is our battle, isn’t it? We can be enticed into staying in our Shangri-La sense of perfection or commit ourselves to engage in the ‘holy’ battle with both sides of our nature, which can lead to what is perhaps an evolutionary state for the human race.
The second area of concern is zealotry. An amazing spiritual experience or insight MUST be shared, right? We are full of life and want others to feel it too. But did dogma or the reading of a book or maybe the attending of a lecture or seminar take us to the heights? Or were we blessed by a Grace we do not understand and did not control? And can our journey be duplicated for another or is the truth that each of us has our own journey, a journey that is uniquely ours to travel and be transformed in just the way we need? Perhaps there is no path but our own. If we find ourselves wanting to share our good fortune, perhaps we also can retain the knowing that the Divine is never asleep and that no one needs to be converted.
By the way, a wonderful example of the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron in Aquarius archetype can be found on the new show called “The Philanthropist.” Its appearance on network TV completely coincides with this transit. Our hero uses his fortune to seek ways to overcome national boundaries and create solutions to the world’s major problems. It is utopian, unrealistic and impossible in the ‘real’ world. Gotta love this stuff!