Michael Barwick


Insight for Every Purpose under Heaven

2019 Themes: The Grace of Jupiter-Neptune

Along with the heaviness implied by the coming conjoining of Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn, a much lighter spirit is being heralded in the sky in 2019: Jupiter has returned to its own sign Sagittarius for most of the year and while there, it is connecting with Neptune currently in Pisces, the other Zodiac sign traditionally ruled by Jupiter.

Jupiter-Neptune at its best reflects the spiritually upbeat, the inspiring, the visionary, and prophetic optimism that fuels a compassion for the downtrodden. The combination encourages opening to wisdom drawn from life’s many mystical dimensions as opposed to the real-politik Saturn-Pluto represents. All endeavours that open you up to deeper faith fit into the Jupiter-Neptune theme.

It’s easy to see why the emergence of this quality on the scene is being celebrated by so many as the antidote to Saturn-Pluto. Jupiter entered Sagittarius days before the U.S. election last year suggesting the tone of collective understanding had shifted. Within days of the first Jupiter-Neptune connection, the resulting Democratic Majority Congress assumed power.

But not without tension. A struggle is clearly happening between establishment Democrats and the more progressive wing of the party that is calling for a return to the party’s FDR-LBJ roots and greater social justice. This parallels the nature of the connection between Jupiter and Neptune in the sky: they are “square” i.e. 90 degrees apart indicating that left on their own, they can easily fall into the trap of working cross-purposes to each other. A human being with such a connection in their horoscope has to develop some kind of respect for both planets to get the best of what the combination can offer. The inherent creativity and dynamism is then unleashed to be productive.

Some might mistake Jupiter in Sagittarius’s proclivities to party, travel and celebrate as all there is to this too often misunderstood planet. And yes, for some, their experience of this symbol can be shallow. However, Jupiter is a moral principle: it symbolizes the human drive to determine right and wrong. From Jupiter’s perspective, the judgement it renders is supreme and the highest law.

Someone once said that although it is popular in our time to think that human beings are brilliant but tragically immoral (science producing powerful technology – look at our phones! – yet we are killing our planet), the inverse is at least as thought provoking: could it be that we really are very moral (we really want to do the right thing), but are so very stupid about doing so?

It seems to me that many stupidly horrible things are done by people absolutely tragically convinced they are doing the right and moral thing. It is noteworthy that astrological researcher Michel Gauquelin, discoverer of the statistical importance of the planet Mars in the charts of super athletes, found Jupiter similarly significant in the horoscopes of committed German Nazis.

So Jupiter can be very doctrinaire and the dark face of judgement can be very cruel indeed: who wants to be hit with a thunderbolt, labelled a heretic and cast into the outer darkness? But despite Jupiter’s patriarchal inclinations to assert supreme authority, Jupiter is not God. Yes religion is a Jupiterian concern, but only to the degree that the planet symbolizes the drives to expand, open up to, and be incorporated into something bigger, greater and higher. It is not the something higher itself.

Neptune in Pisces is a different fish entirely. It is a symbol related to the collective feelings and yearnings of the masses. For Neptune, ethics are irrelevant: what matters is personal mystical experience whether it be through mood altering substances, martyrdom, meditation, falling in love, consumerism and fashion (aka “retail therapy”), becoming deluded, being deceived to the degree you are swindled, or through selfless service to a cause.

Politically, a case can be made that Jupiter is liberal given its generosity and its inclinations to reward faith (with Saturn being conservative, given its belief in discipline and its inclinations to reward effort), but Neptune’s further left inclinations are well established because the human discovery of the planet coincides with the publications first expressing those ideas in the mid 1800s. Neptune is a collective drive to no divisions: all is unity meaning the suffering of one is the suffering of all.

The exuberance of these two principles together is inspiring, but there are cautions to keep in mind:

  • Jupiter leaves Sagittarius and goes into Capricorn before the end of the year and is not as deep an influence (Jupiter is faster), whereas Saturn-Pluto continues to its exact conjunction in January 2020, and although it happens only once, the influence will continue a while after. So while its going to be very seductive to think the worst is over, it’s possible the light you’re seeing at the end of the tunnel is really a train heading your way! Things may need to get worse before they get better.
  • For those trying to improve life on planet earth, it will take a conscious effort to try to understand and empathize with others that are on your side, but who see things differently than you do. Such efforts will pay off big though if you have enough humility to be receptive to the other’s truth.
  • Contending with questions of who is in or out of any group requires rigourous discernment: think of the differences of opinion globally in regards to immigration (although the paranoia about “criminals and rapists” coming into a country illegally is consistent with Saturn-Pluto paranoia) or what level of ideological purity is going to be required of whoever emerges to lead the Democratic Party, or whether LGBTQ+ folk can be cherished members and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church (Catholics have spoken out in support of both sides of this argument as facts about the sex abuse scandal continue to leak out and some blame homosexuality among the clergy as the cause of the sex abuse scandal).

Key Dates

  • January 13, 2019 – first time exactly 90 degrees apart (“in square”)
  • June 16, 2019 – second time in square
  • September 21, 2019 – final time in square