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On May 28 of this year, the two “heavyweights” of our planetary system—Jupiter  and Saturn—will meet in the sky, forming what astrologers call a “conjunction” (two planets more or less in the same degree of the same sign). Already, if you look toward the western horizon shortly after dusk, you should be able to make out these two planets together in the sky, accompanied for the moment by Mars. Jupiter and Saturn are the largest planets in the solar system, and are also the farthest planets visible to the naked eye. Ancient astrologers accorded them special importance. One theory even holds that it was the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC that was the “star of Bethlehem” from which the three wise men—who were without question astrologers—predicted the coming of the messiah.

Modern astrologers would most probably not be expecting anything quite so dramatic as the Second Coming this April, but the conjunction is nevertheless a significant astrological event. After all, these two distant, massive planets only meet in the sky every twenty years or so. But to understand what to expect, first we need to acquaint ourselves with each of the partners in this cosmic tango.

Meet Jupiter, the “Good Guy”

In old astrological terminology, Jupiter was known as the “Great Benefic.” The word “benefic” literally translates as “doing good,” and Jupiter was generally regarded as bringing good fortune. People with a strongly-placed Jupiter in their birth charts were regarded as likely to be lucky and successful people.

Modern astrologers relate Jupiter to the urge to expand our horizons, both physically and spiritually. People with a strong Jupiter tend to be expansive thinkers with a philosophical bent. They seek the big picture without worrying too much about the details. They are often restless types, who think the grass is greener on the other side of the hill. They thrive on inspiration, but often neglect the perspiration necessary to implement their grand schemes.

Enter Saturn, the “Bad Guy”

In many ways Saturn represents the very opposite of everything Jupiter stands for. Historically, Saturn was the “Great Malefic.” Yes, you guessed it, it means “doing bad,” and astrologers were terrified of Saturn’s influence, considering it an evil omen portending all kinds of doom and misery. Even today, in a less superstitious age, astrologers tend to groan inwardly when they see they are in for a dose of Saturn. Saturn does tend to bring a sense of restriction, frustration and melancholy that no one looks forward to.

On the other hand, Saturn plays a very necessary role. While his influence is restricting, it is also grounding. Saturn urges that we take a realistic and responsible look at things. Some think of Saturn’s counsel as pessimistic, but without Saturn’s caution, careful preparation and hard-nosed pragmatism, all of Jupiter’s schemes would be so much hot air.

Showdown!

So what happens when the “good guy” and the “bad guy” of the zodiac meet? Who wins? The answer depends on your personal relationship with each of these two very different energies. If you’ve been balancing your inner Saturnian and Jupiterian energies well, this could well be a harvest time for you, as Saturn makes concrete and brings to fruition the dreams you’ve been incubating.

If, on the other hand, either Saturn or Jupiter has been having the upper hand in your life for too long, this may be a difficult time, as the conjunction of these two opposed forces strives to bring about a balance in your life. If you’ve been emphasizing responsibility, hard work and material ambition to the exclusion of other concerns, you may find yourself suddenly experiencing a longing for a greater reality, rather like Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty. You may experience an urgent desire to “break out” and change your life.

On the other hand, if you’ve been the carefree, footloose and fancy-free type up till now, Jupiter’s conjunction with Saturn may confront you with uncomfortable realities. Things you’ve been ignoring and hoping would go away may suddenly make an unwelcome reappearance on the scene. That’s Saturn knocking at your door, perhaps reminding you that you can’t evade commitment and responsibility forever.

Boom or Bust?

The fact that the conjunction will be taking place in Taurus, a sign traditionally associated with economic matters, suggests that an important turning point for the economy may be in the offing. Recently, we have seen a runaway boom in the price of technology and internet stocks. If Jupiter is the “bull” in the market, and Saturn is the “bear,” then the conjunction of these two planets may well represent a turning point for the markets, with Saturn deflating Jupiter’s speculative excesses. Already, as the two planets approach one another, we can see the signs that this process may have begun.

Conclusion

The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is a good time to think about the way you have balanced out the opposing needs for material versus spiritual wealth, freedom versus responsibility, change and expansion versus stability and security. And if you haven’t struck the right balance yet, don’t worry: just as Saturn and Jupiter are always in motion, finding the path that’s right is an ever-evolving challenge.

See Lynn Bell's article All Those Planets in Taurus! for more on this major pattern.


Notes

The three wise men: The three wise men, or magi, in the bible were Chaldeans, or Babylonians. It was in ancient Chaldea that western astrology has its origins. Whether or not the star of Bethlehem was the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, there is little doubt that it was an astrological sign of some kind that these three men had read as an omen of Christ’s birth.

Technology and internet stocks: Astrologers consider the planet Uranus and the sign of Aquarius to be related to the area of computers and technology. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will be forming a “square” aspect or 90 degree angle—traditionally a difficult or “bad” aspect—to Uranus in its home sign Aquarius. This is another indicator that April may be a bad time for the Internet sector.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pierz Newton-John is a psychotherapist, astrologer and writer in private practice in Melbourne, Australia. He is a regular contributor to The Mountain Astrologer and has also written on astrological subjects for InnerSelf.com. He majored in the history and philosophy of science at Melbourne University and has a particular interest in the philosophical aspects of astrology.

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For more information about Pierz Newton-John, click here.

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