December 19, 2020 — May 13, 2021
Given how fast Jupiter is going to breeze through Aquarius in the first half of 2021 — it makes it into Pisces in just five months! — it might be tempting to think of Jupiter in Aquarius as the neutral pitstop in between the T.S. Eliot wasteland of Jupiter in Capricorn and the juicy-fruit promised land of Jupiter in Pisces. However, I’m going to make a case for why you shouldn’t sleep on its potential. This coming year’s transit of Jupiter through Aquarius will be mostly about helping Saturn with its great work of establishing a new paradigm for society, but it’s worth looking at where things tend to bloom and prosper whenever Jupiter visits the water bearer’s sign every 12 years.
For Jupiter, Aquarius is a pretty decent upgrade from Capricorn, even though they’re both Saturn-ruled signs. Jupiter is in fall in Capricorn, meaning it has very little to draw on in order to keep the faith alive. This forces the planet of largesse to get leaner and scrappier as it plumbs the depths of what it means to truly believe — to see potential and possibility in things even when they’re at their worst.
Aquarius is decidedly more neutral from an essential dignity standpoint, but it also reveals a different face of Saturn. Part of this comes from the fact that both Jupiter and Saturn are diurnal (day sect) planets and therefore feel more comfy in the diurnal sign of Aquarius (versus Capricorn, which is nocturnal). And then you can consider that as an earth sign, Capricorn is cold and dry. Aquarius is an air sign, which is hot and moist. Jupiter is basically getting a humidifier halfway through its Saturnian winter to restore itself to its gas giant status.
Aquarius is also classically considered a humane sign because it’s represented by a human figure, and therefore more concerned with the social and societal — with humanity. But it’s funny, cause, like, Aquarius is also known for being an outsider. This apparent contradiction comes from the symbolic truth that an existing structure (Saturn) can only be improved so much from within. It must also be worked on from the outside, where there is distance and perspective and space to imagine new possibilities. When it comes to fixing society, the “outside” involves marginalized groups that the existing structure hasn’t been built to accommodate. It is through their perspectives, their input, and their dreams for a more equitable future that new blueprints can be fashioned.
And then again, at the very same time, the concept of Aquarius might involve opting out of mainstream society altogether and devoting energy not toward fighting to be included, but toward making those margins into a more thriving, habitable place. Either way, the goal is to improve life for the people who would otherwise be excluded, which ends up shifting the entire paradigm anyway because the edges no longer look the same. Among other things, Jupiter in Aquarius directs its abundant growth potential toward these edges, creating space for those who may have lacked it — providing room to be, room to roam, room to reimagine the rules. Among other things, Jupiter in Aquarius could be about living your best life in exile.
Jupiter In Aquarius Throughout History
When I was researching historical trends for this piece, I had a pet theory that Jupiter in Aquarius might have something to do with important milestones for countercultures, or the growth of subcultures — creating more opportunities for nonconformity and forging new spaces with those who share a common sense of alienation, in other words. Truthfully, I have no idea how statistically significant these events are when stacked up against other Jupiter transits, and I was frustrated to not be able to find specific months or dates for a lot of these, so I don’t know for a fact that these all occurred while Jupiter was in Aquarius. However, here for your interest and curiosity are a few things that happened during years where Jupiter spent at least part of the time in Aquarius:
- The first known organized club for nudists, Freilichtpark (Free-Light Park), was opened in Germany (1903)
- The New York Dada movement began, made up of artists who rejected the logic of bourgeois society with “nonsense art” (circa 1915, Jupiter copresent with Uranus)
- CBGB is founded in New York City, a formative moment in punk rock history and a venue that served as a major cultural incubator (December 1973, Venus copresent with and applying to Jupiter)
- The first Annual Odd Fellows Ball takes place in Harlem, widely considered to be the first-ever drag ball (1867)
- Years later, Marcel Christian organizes the first ball exclusively for Black queens and queens of color in response to racism in the ball scene (1962, Jupiter copresent with Saturn)
And let’s not forget that Aquarius is also associated with scientific and technological advances. With Jupiter here, there may well be a sense of renewed faith in science, as well as opportunities to transgress the boundaries of what we’ve deemed knowable, established, and encoded into law.
1997 was an especially striking version of this potential, with Jupiter copresent with Uranus in Aquarius:
- Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from an adult cell, gets her public unveiling and advances the scope of what was considered possible in the field
- Comet Hale-Bopp, which broke records as the farthest comet from the Sun discovered by amateurs, reached its closest point to Earth and created a spectacular show in the sky
- IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess, which was the first time a chess champion was defeated by a computer in a tournament
Another fun fact: two of the most iconic science fiction films in existence came out when Jupiter was in Aquarius: Back to the Future in 1985 and The Fifth Element in 1997.
Jupiter In Aquarius 2020-2021
It’s impossible to talk about this year’s transit of Jupiter through Aquarius without considering the influence of Saturn in Aquarius.
And actually, the last two cycles before this one were also colored by the influence of another outer planet. In 2009, Jupiter was hanging out with Neptune in Aquarius. In 1997, it was together with Uranus. In other words, we’ve gotten three consecutive versions of this transit with very different flavor profiles. The zeitgeisty innovation of the late ’90s gave way to the magical mystery tour of 2009 gave way to a new vision for humanity, the weight and importance of which is emphasized by the fact that the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of December 21, 2020 marks the beginning of a new 200-ish year cycle of Great Conjunctions occurring in air signs.
Astrologers look to conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, also known as Great Conjunctions, to identify the bookends of distinct historical chapters. These conjunctions, which take place roughly once every 20 years, represent the nullification of opposing forces as they blend and cancel each other out. Jupiter is expansion and Saturn is contraction, and when they combine, you get the coincidence of new things growing and old things ending.
Often, when this happens, there’s a changing of the guard politically and culturally, and this time, it’s happening on a much greater, more abstract level too. Great conjunctions go through larger cycles of occurring in signs of the same element for about 200 years, though these transitions usually involve some overlap. We actually did get the first air-sign conjunction in the early ’80s, and we got a whole internet boom in the 20 years since. The Taurus Great Conjunction that occurred in 2000 represented the last breath of the earth period, complete with all the glitz and indulgence that a Venus-ruled earth sign might bestow upon a planet that’s awakening to the unique perversities of late capitalism. Now, we’re being officially ushered into the age of air, which has less to do with capital and resources and more to do with ideas and technology.
Your Great Conjunction Horoscope
Even though these are grand, societal shifts we’re talking about, the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will land in everybody’s chart with a sense of gravitas and importance. We all have our own way of showing up for the sea change that’s occurring — unique gifts we have to contribute, individual versions of this change unfolding in our lives. You can think of this as the dawn of a new 20-year era in your life that will subtly unfold as the creation of a new paradigm. Here are some potential possibilities for each rising sign.
Intentional community, coalition building, joining or forming a scene, going far (but not fast) with others
Stepping more fully into your authority, learning to lead, becoming a household name, reaching the summit of your ambitions
Giving form (and legitimacy) to some of your more “out there” beliefs and cosmologies, starting a new religion, going international, going for your PhD
Investing and being invested in, achieving rock-solid interdependency, deriving power from pooled resources, paying off a generational debt, becoming a grief mentor
Becoming a unit, forming a partnership with a solid bedrock, renegotiating your contracts with others, finding freedom in relationship
Reforming your lifestyle, creating sustainable labor practices for yourself or others, prioritizing your health, establishing a self-care protocol that supports your work
Performing a great work of creation and love, making babies both real and metaphorical, leaning into your capacity to show the rest of the world how to cultivate joy as a survival tactic
Putting down roots, cultivating land, bringing yourself into right relation with your ancestry and lineage, shifting into a new gear with your parents
Establishing a supportive daily practice, starting an iconic blog or podcast, forming a neighborhood institution, shifting into a new gear with your siblings or extended family
Generating wealth, leveraging your resources more effectively, taking ownership of something you will build to outlast you
Being the change, offering up your own personal growth as a service and teaching model, finding greater freedom and authenticity in your self-expression
Snatching a true, unfuckwithable sense of solitude from the jaws of loneliness, embarking on a spiritual retreat from your usual pace of life, committing to your healing and self-discovery