The current Jupiter/Neptune cycle began on 27 May 2009 at 03:55pm EDT set for Washington, D.C., the conjunction occurring at 26’29” Aquarius (Tropical). In principle, the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction refers to new statements of intent regarding the current expressions of both legal theory and practice and religious thought and practice (Jupiter) in the context of the institutionalized social and cultural values of the time (Neptune). In this sense, when applied to the United States, the conjunction has everything to do with ‘truth, justice and the American way’ and how those principles are nudged in new directions over time.
In this American context, the conjunction always has something to do with the perception and treatment of certain groups in a very diverse society. In the sign of Aquarius, it was sure to bring awareness to the social, political and judicial currents in the society related to previously marginalized groups who were not yet fully integrated into mainstream social and political processes, as well as radical elements in the culture and society who were, for whatever reason, not fully enfranchised in the political and economic life of the nation, now with the potential for inclusion and/or political power. Two groups stand out in the American political landscape: the LGBT community and those left behind by the technological revolution and the collapse of the heavy manufacturing sectors in the economy. Both of these groups found success in this cycle—the former through the Courts, most significantly with marriage equality, and the latter through politics, albeit radical populism. Other minority groups, including women, Hispanics, Native Americans and African-Americans, found themselves faced with overt institutional discrimination, and yet, at the same time, growing political influence through activism and political engagement to counter the social currents moving against them.
In looking at the chart for the conjunction, Libra is rising, with its ruler, Venus, conjunct Mars in Aries in the 7th House, sextile to Jupiter/Neptune. Mercury, ruler of the 9th in Gemini and the 12th in Virgo, is retrograde in Taurus squared to the conjunction. Since we are dealing with Jupiter and Neptune, the natural rulers of the 9th and 12th Houses, the placement and aspects to Mercury in this chart, although perhaps secondary in importance, are still critical in the outcome of the cycle. Mercury Rx square Neptune all but promises difficulty in social and political communication, confusion, deceptions, lies, and subterfuge. Mercury square Jupiter with Neptune suggests an unfortunate, but heightened role of propaganda, misinformation and disinformation that colors the entire cycle from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction. Here is the chart for this last Jupiter/Neptune conjunction.
To place this conjunction in its historical context, in 2009 the world was at the beginning of the Great Recession, and, in the United States, both the previous Bush Administration and the new Obama Administration infused massive amounts of money into the economic system and bailed out financial institutions and important corporations in hopes of keeping the recession from sliding into a more serious second Great Depression. Although it took another three years, their strategy did work and the economy turned around in 2012 as Jupiter and Neptune were forming their First Quarter square. However, during that three year period, U.S. manufacturing went into decline, unemployment sky-rocketed, and areas of the country like the Great Lakes region in the Midwest, the South and Appalachia, that were already economically weak, suffered the brunt of the recession.
The people in those regions felt disregarded and abandoned, and rose up in political opposition to the Obama agenda. But the Jupiter/Neptune principle went much deeper than just the economic inequality that lay at the surface of American politics. Regions like Appalachia, the South and Midwest, that were culturally entrenched in pre-1965 Uranus/Pluto conjunction America with its fundamentalist Christianity, racial and ethnic segregation and white supremacy, and still not fully reconciled with the changes that had eroded their privilege to dominate the society after the Uranus/Pluto conjunction, tied their political wagons to the Tea Party movement and rode into the U.S. Congress in the mid-term elections of 2010 as new, more conservative, if not radical Republicans. (Forgive the American Old West metaphor!)
The Jupiter/Neptune First Quarter square occurred on 25 June 2012 at 3:53am EDT, Washington, D.C., less than twenty-four hours after the Uranus/Pluto First Quarter square occurred on 24 June 2012 at 05:12 am, EDT. We were experiencing two critical first quarter squares in two different synodic cycles of the outer planets at the same time. Although the economy was turning around, the U.S. was experiencing a serious political and cultural conflict with liberals and mainstream Republicans on one side and these new radical Republicans on the other, who later would identify themselves as the ‘Freedom Caucus.’ Obama went on to win re-election, which shocked these new Republicans. They believed they had the political upper hand, but apparently the country was not as supportive as they imagined. Obama would go on to win one argument with a national health care plan, but much of his socially progressive agenda was blocked by the new Republicans and he used ‘executive orders’ to put many items of his agenda in place. Of course, there was an immediate reaction from the new Republicans and accusations that Obama was by-passing the Constitutional role of Congress as the legislative body.
Additionally, radical right wing media outlets began gaining popularity among these ‘disenfranchised’ people in the Midwest, South and Appalachia. InfoWars, Breitbart and The Daily Caller all became more influential and began influencing the direction and agenda of the new Republicans in Congress. InfoWars and Breitbart, specifically, had been spreading propaganda, right wing conspiracy theories, and misinformation that caught the attention and imagination of the new Republican base. Yet, this was foreseeable in the Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction chart with the square to Mercury Rx. But all of this comes down to the Jupiter/Neptune and Uranus/Pluto First Quarter squares. Both charts have Gemini Rising, so they are very similar, the only difference being the Moon placements in Leo and Virgo.
In the Fall of 2013, things began polarizing in the U.S. Congress and they shut the government down, effective midnight on 1 October 2013. This was at the time that Jupiter and Neptune were 135 degrees apart (sessquare), opening the Gibbous Phase of the cycle. Typical for this planetary phase, it was at this point in time, that the Freedom Caucus and the new Republicans began successfully taking over the House of Representatives. The moderate Speaker of the House, John Boehner, began losing control and the radical Republicans were successful in pushing their agenda. This continued until September of 2015, when Jupiter and Neptune reached opposition, and John Boehner resigned leaving the House in the hands of the radicals. They had achieved their ultimate success—almost.
There was something else happening in the Fall of 2013 when Jupiter and Neptune were sessquared. The exact 135 degree aspect occurred on 28 September 2013, 10:37pm EDT, 21 Gemini was on the Ascendant. An interesting astrological ‘co-incidence’ is that Trump’s natal Moon is at 21 Gemini, pulling him into the Jupiter/Neptune cycle at the time when the radical Right in Congress were gaining political traction and power over mainstream Republicans. And of course, he would eventually become their anointed Leader as a result. Donald J. Trump went to Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe Pageant on the weekend of 9-10 November 2013, and that night two things happened. He and a couple of wealthy Russian oligarchs made a tentative deal to build a Trump tower in Moscow, and then the infamous events with prostitutes that were later alleged in the Steele Dossier. This became important when Jupiter and Neptune reached opposition in 2015.
Fast forward to 2015. In early March 2015, Mercury was conjunct Neptune in Pisces about 8 degrees. According to U.S. intelligence, they intercepted communications at that time between Trump and contacts in Russia. It is still a secret as to what the intelligence community knows about those conversations. On 20 March 2015 there was a partial eclipse at 29 Pisces, and within a few hours after the eclipse it was reported that Trump was intending to announce his candidacy for president sometime before summer. Let’s look at that eclipse with the U.S. chart (1 July 1776, 07:08 pm LMT, Philadelphia).
Jupiter is still in the waxing Gibbous Phase to Neptune, Neptune squares Uranus at 8 Gemini, but the explosive planetary aspect is the tight Uranus-Pluto square exactly triggering the Moon-Saturn square in the U.S. chart, Pluto conjunct the U.S. Moon squaring Saturn, Uranus squaring the Moon and opposing Saturn. I was not using this ‘Powell Chart’ for the U.S. at the time, but had I been, I would have been extremely alarmed. We now know the history over the last four years since these transits occurred, and the divisive, disruptive, unsettling nature of them is hard to ignore. It was also at this time that Russia began organizing its cyber-attacks, campaign of disinformation and anti-Clinton propaganda using social media and the right wing media outlets that were mentioned earlier. Trump declared his candidacy on 16 June 2015 at 11:24am EDT in New York. The Ascendant was 7 Virgo. There was another partial eclipse on 13 September 2015 at 20 Virgo, and four days later, 17 September 2015 at 02:53am EDT, Jupiter reached opposition to Neptune at 7 Virgo/Pisces right on the Ascendant of the announcement that Trump was formally a candidate. That fall and winter of 2015-2016, Trump and those key players in his campaign were actively engaged with Russians in furthering the Trump Tower deal. There were outside players involved as well—Rex Tillerson and the family of Betsy DeVos, both of whom ‘coincidently’ became cabinet members in the Trump Administration.
So, astrologically, we now see a clear connection between the Trump Campaign, Russia, and the Jupiter/Neptune opposition. This relationship, and it’s clearly supported by the astrology, was meant to help Trump and disadvantage Clinton, according to the U.S. intelligence community findings.
During the campaign between September 2015 and May 2016, Trump kept the Trump tower deal a secret. He had to. It was a clear conflict of interest. Information did leak out, however, but nothing substantial enough to conclude anything definitive beyond speculation. Trump, though, denied having any financial or other connections to Russians.
In April of 2016, Neptune reached 10 Pisces, conjunct the I.C. of the U.S. Government (4 March 1789, 12:00am LMT). Trump appointed Paul Manafort to manage his campaign on 7 April 2016. Manafort, as we now know, was a paid agent and representative of the pro-Russian Ukrainian government, although he failed to report that status to the Federal Elections Commission. As such, he knew about the relationship between Trump and Russia. He indicated to his Russian connections that he could get them ‘inside’ the Trump Campaign. He volunteered to work for the campaign for free. He came on board, and then was promoted to Campaign Manager a couple months later. Other players in the campaign were then given assignments related to campaign fund raising and getting Russians to contribute. In some cases, they did this directly with smaller amounts of cash, but Russian oligarchs discovered they could go through the National Rifle Association, give them millions, and have them contribute to the campaign without raising any suspicions. In short, Neptune was conjunct the U.S. Government’s I.C., undermining the foundations of our democratic institutions and election laws. Jupiter was at 14 Virgo still in opposition to Neptune, but directly opposing the Government’s Sun/Saturn conjunction at 13-14 Pisces, indicating the influence of a foreign power in opposition to the Government’s purpose and functions (Sun) and its institutional regulations and laws (Saturn). In addition, transiting Saturn had joined the fray in mid-Sagittarius creating a t-square to the Jupiter/Neptune opposition causing even more damage to the rule of law, although the public was not yet aware of what was happening.
Then, as we all now know, Trump Jr., Manafort and others met with Russian intelligence people in Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016 at 4:00pm EDT, because they had promised to reveal ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Trump had just met with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, and as per his modus operandi, it was a private meeting, and no one knows what was discussed. He was flying back to the U.S. when the 9 June meeting took place. He did two things on that flight home: He called the New York Times and told them Putin was not responsible for the alleged interference in the election, and he drafted a memo lying about the nature of the meeting in Trump Tower with Russian intelligence.
Of course, what followed was FBI Director Comey’s public announcement in July that the FBI found nothing illegal in the investigation into Clinton’s email server and usage. It was at that point, though, that hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee were being released through DCLeaks in June and July, and then by Wikileaks on 22 July. The Russians were planning on hacking the Clinton Campaign as well. On 27 July 2016, with apparent pre-knowledge of what Wikileaks and Russia were about to do, Trump, now the official Republican candidate for president, at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia, requested that Russia find the 30,000 missing emails from Clinton’s server. He began his request with the words, ‘Russia, if you are listening…’ At the time, of course, no one understood what he was doing. But, within hours of Trump’s public request to Russia to hack Clinton’s campaign, the Russians did just that, capturing emails from Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, and then turned them over to Wikileaks, who published them beginning 7 October 2016. And as we also now know, Trump and his people had been in constant negotiation with Russians over the Moscow Tower deal into November of 2016, at the time of the election, but lied about it the entire time to hide the conflict of interest. The Jupiter opposition Neptune t-square Saturn was in full force.
Trump won the election on 8 November 2016. Pluto had retrograded back to 15 Capricorn, conjunct the U.S. Moon and square Saturn in the Independence chart, where it was when he announced his candidacy and began his campaign. Uranus was at 21 Aries and triggered the Government chart’s Jupiter/Neptune square at 19 Cancer and 22 Libra in the time leading up the election, which should have sounded the alarm that something wasn’t right with the political campaign. But then American politicians don’t look at the astrology of the political process. However, even American astrologers couldn’t imagine there was something rotten in the process—the presidential election has always been understood to be a sacrosanct, incorruptible democratic institution. It was unimaginable to believe that transiting Uranus square Jupiter and opposing Neptune in the Government chart indicated any level of corruption. But the planetary transits don’t lie. When the results of the election were announced, there was a collective shock, revulsion and convulsion that shook the country and the world. Millions of people poured into the streets across the country and around the world in mass demonstrations against his presidency.
His inauguration on 20 January 2017 at 12:00pm EST had transiting Jupiter conjunct the Government’s Neptune quincunx Mercury, triggering the chart’s Jupiter in Cancer square Neptune in Libra, reinforcing the problems in this Jupiter/Neptune cycle and presenting the country with a level of dishonesty never before seen from a president. Neptune was conjunct the I.C., poised to transit the Sun/Saturn conjunction over the next two years. There was an immediate corrosive influence of Neptune and the resulting deconstruction of the administrative state and the undermining of political and institutional norms. Adding insult to injury, transiting Mars/Saturn square had directly hit the U.S. Mercury the week before the inauguration, challenging the press and news media, revealing the Administration’s antipathy to honoring the truth and respecting the rights of the news media as a necessary part of the checks and balances in government. Here are the transits to the Government’s chart at the time of Trump’s inauguration.
Through most of 2019 America will be faced with the Last Quarter Jupiter/Neptune square, that, because of retrograde patterns, repeats three times between January and September—a time of crisis in consciousness and awareness of everything that went right and everything that went wrong through the cycle from conjunction in 2009 until now, but especially since the opposition in 2015. The Last Quarter square is always the beginning of the end. It starts the last quarter of time in the cycle before the new phase begins in 2022. It is a time when it is necessary to evaluate, assess, and admit to what has gone wrong, and to maintain and improve on what has gone right. Objective truth and realism are now required above all things.
The right wing’s extreme, radical reaction to the Obama Administration in 2009 initially formed around the ‘Tea Party’ and the objection to the economic policies in combating the recession at the time of the conjunction. Then the conservative fundamentalist Christians and nationalists joined that movement within the Republican Party at the Jupiter/Neptune waxing semi-square and gained political traction at the First Quarter square, then succeeded in taking over Congress at the Gibbous sessquare. Unfortunately for the Republicans, they tied themselves to Trump at the opposition, who, because of his financial wheeling and dealing with the Russians, promised them to end the economic sanctions for their transgressions in the Ukraine and elsewhere. In exchange, the Russians ‘donated’ heavily through illegal means to the Trump Campaign and created a massive propaganda and disinformation campaign aimed at the Democrats and Hillary Clinton using social media platforms and the extreme right-wing media outlets in order to help Trump gain the necessary traction in key states. And the radical Republicans, both the voters and politicians, were willing to believe the lies and deceptions.
Much will be revealed and challenged during the Last Quarter phase over the next year and half, but especially during the period when the two planets are within orb of square. These coming nine months between January and September will be decisive as Neptune and Jupiter go square, then retrograde, then come back to square, go retrograde, and come back to square again. The reaction of Americans to what is revealed this year under this square regarding Trump’s misadventures, misdeeds, conspiracy and conflicts of interest, will determine what happens when Jupiter reaches 45 degrees behind Neptune, opening the Balsamic phase in the cycle of the two planets in early January 2021. Because the conjunction occurred squared to Mercury Rx in Fixed signs in 2009, the possibility of a trend to deconstruct the truth and promote mis- and disinformation, if not outright lies and propaganda, was there from the beginning. That the developing cycle hit the US Government chart in such a profound way at the square and sessquare, and then at the opposition it pulled Donald Trump into the cycle, I suppose it was also inevitable that, with the election of Donald Trump, Americans would be faced with the negative side of Jupiter/Neptune in the deconstruction of its institutions and objective truth (Neptune conjunct, Jupiter opposed and Saturn squared the Government’s I.C., Saturn and Sun), and an attack on the press and media as ‘enemies of the people’(transiting Mars conjunct and Saturn square the Government’s Mercury at the time of the inauguration), in an attempt to undermine the constitutional role of those estates, and thereby protect Trump’s inherent dishonesty, conflicts of interest and conspiracy with the Russians.
If the wrongs that have been done are not appropriately dealt with, things will get even more difficult for Americans when the Balsamic phase opens in early January 2021 at the waning Jupiter semi-square Neptune. It will be at that point, with the last gasp of the cycle, that either chaos and disintegration occur and the future looks dark and up for grabs by the most undemocratic, truth-refuting elements in society, or the challenges will have been met, dealt with, and the country will begin to plan for a better future and new statements of intent regarding truth, justice and the American way, fully aware of the issues in the past that have led them to this point.
There is a potential point of optimism with the Balsamic waning 45 degrees between Jupiter and Neptune, and that is, the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 0 Aquarius occurs just days before the Jupiter/Neptune waning semi-square is exact. Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions always reset the social, political and economic trends. All presidents in the U.S. are inaugurated with the Sun at 0 Aquarius, and, therefore, America will have this new twenty- year cycle of Jupiter/Saturn that will begin directly on the degree of the Sun for all future presidents between 2020 and 2040. I am optimistic these approaching transits will help reset America and the country can begin reconstructing objective truth and integrity in the American system. This experience will not end completely, though, until 2022 when the next Jupiter/Neptune conjunction occurs. Only then can America, and the world, say a heart-felt, collective goodbye and good-riddance to the years of Jupiter/Neptune chaos and political surrealism especially since the First Quarter square. How these events have changed geopolitics and the world order will now have to be assessed by political scientists and historians.