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Our Expanding Universe — Within and Without: The Jupiter–Neptune Conjunction and the James Webb Telescope

John Singer Sargent, Pagan Gods: Astarte

In November, I posted a blog (linked here: When Jupiter and Neptune Meet in Pisces in April 2022) about the upcoming Jupiter–Neptune conjunction in Pisces and some of the ways it could possibly manifest. But I’d like now to mention another way this configuration could make its presence felt, specifically in connection with an important astronomical development that’s been in the news lately.

First, though, I need to set the stage by going back to 1993, and to the Uranus–Neptune conjunction which was exact that year. There were a number of significant developments during that period, but to my mind, one of the most interesting was the activation of the Hubble Telescope — a development that changed our view of the universe forever. As befits the great distances and broader orbits of those two slow-moving planets, this conjunction signaled a major expansion of the human imagination, which was clearly mirrored outwardly in the expansion of our understanding of the cosmos itself through the Hubble.

Which brings us to the present: What we’re seeing now is another significant planetary marriage involving Neptune, but this one involving the expansive planet Jupiter, a celestial rendezvous that last happened in Pisces back in 1856. As it happens, this one is coinciding with another important astronomical development — namely, the launching of the James Webb telescope. Though it rocketed off to space on Christmas Day of 2021, it’s set to become fully activated in the coming months. Considered many times more powerful than the Hubble, it could revolutionize our view of the cosmos as much if not even more than the earlier telescope did, should all go as planned.

In my blog post in November, I mentioned how Jupiter aligning with Neptune in Pisces suggested an opening up of our imaginations in significant ways, and a potential “thinning of the veil” during which men and women could tap into ideas, feelings, and spiritual states normally less accessible to us. In some ways, it’s as though the unconscious is opening up for us, when we can, almost like passengers in a glass-bottom boat, peer into the wonders of that mysterious underworld of feelings and ideas.

To better understand the symbolism at work here, one might think of this in terms of the phenomenology of Neptune in the solar system. Not only is it vastly far away from us, but it’s completely invisible to the naked eye. This symbolically suggests it relates to a state or level of awareness far beyond our surface consciousness and thought processes. So with Jupiter now serving to trigger it by crossing over that point in the sky — similar to the way Uranus did back in 1993 — it’s natural to expect hidden realities to start coming to light now, both in terms of outer and inner space

By the way, I don’t think this will necessarily be limited just to the Webb Telescope, as there are signs of other astronomical developments happening which could prove significant as well. On March 30th, for instance, astronomers announced that with the help of that trusty warhorse, the Hubble Telescope, they’ve discovered the most distant star ever found. The upshot is, I’d suggest keeping an eye out on several fronts over the coming weeks and months.

But whatever specific form these energies wind up taking for us, I believe they’re pointing to a time of unusual or even important discoveries in both the outer and inner worlds. True, no important astrological energy is all good or all bad, and that will be true of this one as well, but that’s all the more reason why it’s incumbent on us to be aware of the positive possibilities before us, and use these energies to our best advantage — whether through creative work, meditation, dream yoga, ritual work, or perhaps humanitarian action. And since it is a conjunction, which naturally has the “seeding” quality of a New Moon, what we choose to do in the coming months could have ripple effects long into the future.

Ray Grasse is associate editor of The Mountain Astrologer magazine. His most recent book is When the Stars Align: Reflection on Astrology, Life, Death, and Other Mysteries (April, 2002). His website is


  1. Thank you Ray for your insights. I like what you said about both inner and outer new discoveries with this conjunction. There is much we do not know about our bodies and where in our bodies consciousness lies. If that can ever be discovered. Maybe we will come to more conclusions about mind /body connections that answer questions about the human immune system and gut health and it’s relationship to mental health . Thanks again.

  2. Very informative yet succinct, and truly insightful post – thank you! What will this new telescope reveal? The farther we can “see”, the older objects are – will we see the edge, the beginning void from which this is created? And for those of us that heed the impetus to go deeply within, will we find the beginning void as well? In the spiritual image you chose the Goddess is surrounded by golden pine cones, which has been representative of our Pineal gland by ancient cultures. Nice synchronicity. Creating our future by remembering deeper consciousness – and it has been in our brain the whole time. Cheers!

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