This coming April, a remarkable planetary configuration will take place that you’ll want to note on your calendars: Jupiter will be conjoining Neptune in the sign of Pisces, during the second week of that month.
What’s so “remarkable” about that?
For one, this particular aspect in this particular sign hasn’t happened since 1856, when they came together on March 17th of that year. Jupiter may cross through Pisces every 12 years, but Neptune’s journey through this sign is far less frequent, making its meeting with Jupiter there a much rarer affair.
But also consider that both of those planets are directly linked, in symbolism, to Pisces, Jupiter being the traditional ruler, Neptune being the body most modern astrologers associate with that sign. Either way, it’s obvious enough that both bodies have a resonance with Pisces, the result being this impending alignment certainly signals a major amplification of the Piscean principle, and all that implies.
What exactly does that imply?
With Pisces being the symbol par excellence of the great “ocean of being,” as it were, I see this as signaling a potentially extraordinary opening up of the collective unconscious, a time when the proverbial “veil” thins and we suddenly can enjoy easier access to subtle ideas, concepts and creative impulses — perhaps even contact with intelligences beyond the veil. At the very least, it should be a time when the human imagination will be especially rich in its offerings, when ideas can be plucked from the collective mindstream like low-hanging fruit.
Like any important configuration, of course, it’s not going to be all rainbows and unicorns — on top of which, it will be experienced differently by everyone depending on their charts and attitudes. No doubt, there will be those who use this energy to escape even further from reality than they already do, via drugs, alcohol, or even extremist ideologies and religions. And it’s tempting to wonder if there won’t be some problems involving water, the ocean, or flooding around that time as well.
But for those who are more creatively or spiritually-inclined, I think this offers an especially rare opportunity draw on the creative, imaginal, psychological and spiritual energies of the cosmos, whether that be through art, poetry, music, writing, photography, meditating, dance or traveling.
(Speaking of which: I mentioned this upcoming configuration to several of my clients, and one informed me he had planned a trip right at that time to South America to partake in an ayahuasca ceremony, while another said she had booked surfing lessons in Hawaii around that time. To each his/her own!)
Looking to the Previous Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction
Looking deeper into this, I decided to go back and research what was happening around the last time these two combined — around March 17, 1856 — to see if any clues appeared as to what we might expect this coming April. A few things stood out for me:
* Composer Richard Wagner completed his famed score for Die Walküre on March 23, 1856, just six days after the exact conjunction.
* On May 1st of that year, Charles Dodgson formally chose the pseudonym Lewis Carrol (of Alice in Wonderland), while also taking up photography that same day.
* Mauviene, the first synthetic organic dye, was discovered that same month — which led to the birth of the chemical industry.
Even more interesting to me, though, were some of the individuals born during that period. They included:
* The great painter John Singer Sargent was born on January 12, 1856 in the build-up to the conjunction two months later. Although Sargent is known for his fluid style, sense of color, and spiritual kinship with Impressionism, I’ll particularly call attention to his remarkable murals in the Boston Public Library, featuring hugely imaginative scenes that would have made Salvador Dali proud. (The illustration above is a detail from the mural depicting Astarte, the goddess of sensuality.)
* Booker T. Washington was born on April 5th: An American educator and prominent leader in the African-American community, Washington is widely regarded as a powerful inspiration both to his own community and beyond.
* Psychologist Sigmund Freud was born on May 6th (just two days before Jupiter departed Pisces and entered Aries). He would eventually become not just the “father of modern psychology,” but the individual arguably more responsible than any other for popularizing the idea of “the unconscious mind”— the notion that there is a vast ocean of being lying below the surface of conscious life akin to the submerged portion of an iceberg.
* Curiously enough, on that exact same day explorer Robert Peary was born. Peary is generally credited with being the first to reach the North Pole. (Can we see a commonality between the two men, in their shared exploration of previously uncharted landscapes of the imagination?)
And even though Jupiter left Pisces for Aries on May 8th of that year, it’s worth mentioning a few of the other individuals born that year, since the influence of that Jupiter/Neptune energy no doubt continued for quite some time. Those include L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, born on May 15th; H. Rider Haggard, fantasy novelist, born on June 22nd; Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor, on July 10th; Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, on July 26th, and the great architect Louis Sullivan, born on September 3rd. Quite a remarkable assemblage of personalities and creative spirits!
To sum up, I’d say that examples like these make it especially clear that this combination of celestial energies will indeed be a time when there will be a great opening up of our collective imagination, of the so-called “unconscious,” and perhaps even superconscious — if used constructively, that is.
So when should we pay closest attention to this energy?
While the actual conjunction in Pisces technically occurs on April 12th, I feel it’s safe to say that it’s influence will be especially strong for a week on either side, and somewhat less strong for one or even two months on either side. It’s even possible this energy will act as a subtle backdrop for the entire year, apart from whatever other chaos or insanity may happen throughout 2022.
And of course, whatever influence (or strength) it holds for you will depend heavily on where it falls in your horoscope, and the aspects it makes (as well as your natal aspects to those planets). It will be especially interesting to see how it affects those with key planets or house placements in Pisces — especially the Sun, Moon and Ascendant.
In any event, have fun surfing the wave!
Bio: Ray Grasse is associate editor of The Mountain Astrologer, and is author of several books, including The Waking Dream, Signs of the Times, Under a Sacred Sky, An Infinity of Gods, Urban Mystic, and StarGates. His website is www.raygrasse.com