End of 'Hope', Beginning of… ?


As of a few days ago, planetary big-boy Jupiter moved out of Aquarius… and into Pisces.

That also means Jupiter has left the current sign of Neptune's residence, effectively ending their several-month conjunction ('so 2009!')… and now enters Uranus's longtime home-sign, to approach another big conjunction.

Jupiter will conjoin Uranus (within 5-degree orb) from May of this year into February 2011, uniting the solar system's rabble-rousing revolutionary (Uranus) with the guy who makes everything bigger (Jupiter). This is just one element among several hard aspects (e.g., Saturn-Uranus opposition, Saturn-Pluto square, Uranus-Pluto square) presently converging to charge the middle of 2010 with stark game-changing tensions that seem to demand some pivotal action. (See also: '2010: A Pivotal Year'.)

That Jupiter lends his expansiveness to the eccentric, unpredictable, anti-tradition side (i.e., Uranus) of this T-square is surely a statement on the developing strength of overt resistance, as pitted against the other poles of even-tempered tradeoffs (Saturn in Libra) and deep, slow, painful metamorphoses of authoritarian structures (Pluto in Capricorn). That the first exact Jupiter-Uranus conjunction falls in the very first degree of the zodiac (0-1 Aries) only adds the theme of 'spontaneous outbreak of a new beginning' to the simmering pot… with the capacity to accelerate the pace at which Saturn's compromises and Pluto's transformations must show results, to ward off broader populist tumult.

Under these astro-conditions, it seems like something must happen—and the less 'on-board' our governing institutions are with the necessity of some big change, the more chaotic and destructive that 'something' is apt to be.

These Jupiter-Uranus themes are something of a departure from the Jupiter-conjunct-Neptune-in Aquarius vibe we're presently leaving behind, a preponderance of hope couched in the idealistic rhetoric of collectively-minded thinking… which held the potential both to inspire big systems-level visions and to delude us with progressive-sounding ideas that never get off the ground. As a sign, Aquarius is more intellectual visionary than hands-on doer, while neither Jupiter nor Neptune especially enjoy operating within the confines of existing reality.

That's not to say we don't desperately need the optimism and imagination they bring, as a counterbalance to Saturnian entrenchment. Yet, too much of this good thing keeps our heads in the clouds while the 'real world' worsens. It was last year's Jupiter-Neptune conjunction that had me, for instance, expecting to hear premature (and not necessarily wholly accurate) reports of an economic recovery underway—and, of course, we did hear them, and still do. I now expect, with this 'hopeful' conjunction passing into history, we'll discover the real truth: The global economic crisis is far from over (and maybe we haven't even seen the worst yet?).

I also saw parallels between the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in Aquarius and the possibility of the U.S. (finally!) enacting major health-care reform that would provide the American people a public health-insurance option, an ethically necessary step for putting the private insurance sector's unmitigated power in check. (I proudly advocate the need for public health-care in the U.S.) For a few (delusional?) moments, it appeared this reform might actually occur, in some truly remarkable form that genuinely favored the good of the people over the profits of corporations. In light of yesterday's election of Republican Scott Brown as the Senator from Massachusetts, which takes away the Democrats' filibuster-proof 'supermajority', that now appears dubious. (And oh, the irony, that it was Ted Kennedy's seat which nudged the balance away from real reform.)

The public-option's death knell, of course, had already been sounded a month earlier, at least according to many pundits, when House leader Nancy Pelosi publicly backed away from prior endorsements of its essentialness and deferred to the Senate. One article even began, 'The public health insurance option died on Thursday, December 10, 2009... The time of death was recorded as 11:12 a.m. EST. [at Pelosi's press briefing].' Like any good astrologer who confronts a time-stamped statement like that, I immediately ran the chart. No surprises there: The Jupiter-Neptune conjunction (applying to its final exact peak ten days later) right on the Ascendent, sharply opposed by Mars in Leo (slowing to its retrograde station nine days later) on the Descendent. In other words, the expansive hope of the people (Aquarius rules the social collective) was fought by assertiveness from individuals of great strength (Leo rules strong leaders). Leo has long been seen as the sign of 'the royals', and it's quite evident that public health-care was ostensibly killed by a few royally powerful (self-)interests. (Special honors go to Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the insurance industry's home state!)

So, we say goodbye to 'hope'… and hello to a heightened Jupiter-Uranus pressure pushing us toward unmistakably eventful disruption of the status quo. The pressure is palpable everywhere. Revolution is in the air, whether or not a full-on overthrow (of whom? of what?) comes to full fruition. By itself, the Jupiter-Uranus amplification of rebellious, liberatory urges might not be quite as ripe… but the added tensions from the Saturn opposition and the Pluto square offer the dynamism of archetypes to react against. And Uranus is nothing if not reactionary—against normalcy and convention, tradition and orthodoxy, centralized authority and anything that inhibits (or is believed, validly or not, to inhibit) freedom and individuality. It thrives on the contrast.

As I see it, some striking expression of this Jupiter-Uranus reaction against the increasingly obvious limitations—repressive restraints, really—of our broken-down system is virtually bound to manifest. The people's willingness to continue waiting while the marks of their sustaining lifestyles (a job! a place to live! health-care! a path to growing success!) are taken away, one by one, in the name of faceless fiscal policy, is wearing thin… to put it mildly.

When we reach that resonant moment of realizing something is dysfunctional past the point of being fixable ('are we there yet?'), we literally have no choice but to seek alternatives. It becomes a matter of survival—and consequently a compulsory occasion for creativity. With no money coming in, for instance, an individual must find other ways to fulfill his material needs: bartering instead of buying; recycling and reusing; joining together in larger cooperative units to share resources; altering lifestyles dramatically; striving to invent a successor to existing monetary systems. When it comes to humans' capacity for creative innovation, there is literally no limit.

On the other hand, if our hostility toward these failing institutions (and the plutocrats trying to prop them up) overpowers our creative instincts—and this very much depends on how our leaders acknowledge and address this growing crisis over the coming months—we're liable to fall into the worst reactive attitudes. Our anger may start us out simply refusing to answer credit-card companies' calls, to pay mortgage bills or vote in elections. Then, further down the slippery slope, a few individuals decide to infect banking networks with computer viruses, firebomb insurance-company headquarters, or threaten the lives of powerful individuals. At that point, the moral high-ground upon which the populist response initially predicated itself has been sacrificed to 'fighting evil with evil', further devolving the state of society.

How far will Jupiter and Uranus go with their radical press for something different? Depends on how creative—or destructive—we, the people, prove ourselves to be.

Further Reading:
Arianna Huffington: 'Hope' Has Been a Bust (Huffington Post)