As of today (Sun Jan 17), Jupiter will enter Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac wheel, for the first time since 1999.
We like to stay abreast of where Jupiter's traveling, since he is the 'great benefic' and thus often the deliverer of optimism and opportunity, fortune and breadth of vision. Jupiter's a guy we want to keep happy.
Thankfully, Jupiter is very happy when he moves through Pisces, a sign he traditionally ruled (before Neptune was discovered in 1846 and many modern astrologers reassigned Pisces's rulership to him). If Jupiter's basic principle is all about expanding our perspectives and possibilities beyond prior limitations, then Pisces is indeed a welcoming home for him. As the symbolic culmination of all the experiences brought forth by the preceding eleven zodiac signs, Pisces is the ultimate representation of transcending boundaries. It is Pisces's job to sense and highlight the overall universe-level unity that undergirds all our experiences, through the irrational (or 'trans-rational') water-sign consciousness of the indivisibility of life. Pisces feels this oneness, whether or not it can be logically explained or understood.
Jupiter's arrival into Pisces, which invites us to view the world with greater compassion for all beings, could be just what the doctor ordered. Unquestionably, we're each surrounded by suffering from every sidethough whether we regularly pause, not to think about but, to feel it and allow others' pain to actually enter our hearts, is another story. Here in the U.S., for instance, it is one thing to yammer and opine about the effects of the financial crisis (all the while thanking our lucky stars if we personally have escaped the worst effects of it), but something entirely different to cry along with the hungry, the homeless, the unemployed and uninsured who are our brothers and sisters, parents and children.
When our emotions are genuinely moved in this way, it's harder to toss out neat-and-tidy encapsulating rhetoric ('we're doing everything we can'; 'we've all got to make sacrifices'; 'elect me and I'll create jobs') that officially acknowledges the widespread distress while simultaneously collects distance from it. Our highest offerings of emotional empathy often require no words at all. We merely provide our presence, being to being, regardless of the myriad identifying differences to bear witness, to share sorrow, to hold each other's hands.
This bespeaks a marked break from Jupiter's prior host-sign, Aquarius, which is also known by its concern for the collective well-being but which expresses it through novel ideas and grand ideologies that purport to address 'what's good for everyone', yet often fall short of doing so. No matter how pure its intentions, Aquarius's driving intellectual need to 'figure it all out' (that is, to summon the right answer to large vexing dilemmas) can lead to sharp theoretical differences both (1) with others who may share similar collective concern but hold vastly dissimilar visions and (2) with the very people in whose name the 'good' is being done. In the end, the opinion we most detest represents the most potent shadow to our much-cherished views, pointing directly to that which we have disavowed in our own constrictive 'right answer'.
Pisces, meanwhile, doesn't think about how best to demonstrate its care. It simply cares. It can hardly stand within sight (or psychic reception) of someone in needeven if they are someone from another tribe or the detested 'other side'and not assume some unspoken sympathetic understanding. Under the spell of Piscean compassion, we see past ideological oppositions and into the emotional truths behind our so-called opponent's ideas, knowing that an individual's history of adversity and affliction is what really underscores the beliefs they espouse. Authentically connect with that other's history, person to person, and you'll make a friend out of a supposed foe.
Jupiter in Pisces, then, surely encourages us to begin any efforts to improve our world by listening to those who most need assistance, rather than first trying to devise solutions from inside our ivory towers and policy think-tanks, then telling the needy what they need to do. Our ability to hear (literally or otherwise) their souls sobbing or screaming or gasping for air will undoubtedly be heightened. And having faith that it is possible to rise beyond our petty divisions to attend to these souls will help rouse Jupiter's intrinsic optimism into fuller effect.
Alas, no astro-happening is without its potential problems; even good-luck Jupiter is no exception. When Jupiter 'expands' in too unmeasured a manner, he lapses into overidealism or excess. He 'transcends boundaries' to the point of total erasure, losing touch with the healthy limits of earthly reality. In Pisces, where Jupiter operates in major sign-ruler comfort, he is especially prone to going too far with his sympathetic aims. After all, Pisces at its most unbounded has a reputation for sacrificially playing the martyr, refusing to respect physical limitations, and willfully escaping the less flattering aspects of existence.
In prioritizing feelings over rationale, Jupiter in Pisces may chase what feels good at the timea few too many drinks or tokes, the bliss of interpersonal codependency, agoraphobic retreat from external lifeonly to wake up later with a massive headache, a loss of identity, or the inability to function as all members of society must. As such, we might expect, especially in such challenging times, to be attracted to situations, behaviors or beliefs that falsely promise 'relief' or 'release'. Beware of increased reliance on individuals, ideas or substances that 'take you completely away' from worry or strife. Under their deluding influence, we may in fact be worsening our worrisome situations in the long-term.
Jupiter ordinarily spends about a year in one sign, but will be speeding through Pisces between now and Jun 5 in an apparent race to make it into Aries before joining up with Uranus (for the first of three conjunctions) on Jun 8. This Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is a huge occurrence, particularly so due to its additional interactions with Saturn and Pluto, which I'll be writing more about very soon (and, in fact, already have in this 'pivotal year ahead' article). Jupiter then retrogrades back into Pisces for a brief return home from Sep 8 through Jan 22 2011, indicating we're scheduled to conclude 2010 by revisiting this notion of 'universal compassion' in response to the climactic events of the summer months.