On April 12, the great planets Jupiter and Neptune converge in Pisces, blasting open a gateway to dreams…or a hellmouth of dissociation. Though Jupiter and Neptune come together every 13 years, this is their first reunion in their shared home sign of Pisces, since 1856. Once together, they set off a spectacle of a month, as Venus, Mars and the moon join them in Pisces on April 26 for a historic, mind-bending stellium. Such an epochal conjunction will not only shake up the cultural imagination, but reveal the possibilities and thresholds of our own dreams. Here’s how to embrace this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Neptune is an outer planet, which means that it orbits the sun at a far slower crawl than more personal planets, like Mercury or Venus. It takes Neptune approximately 14 years to move through a single sign, and 165 years to make a full revolution through the zodiac. Neptune’s influence, therefore, is less individual and more collective. As the planet of the imagination, it deals with all forms of escape: the artificial realities of cinema; video games and fiction; mind-altering substances; and movements of spirituality and political change.
Neptune transits reveal the POV of contemporary culture: Its Aquarius transit (1998–2012) saw the peak and crash of teen movies and the arrival of The Matrix and Second Life; the current Pisces era (2012–2025) has delivered an opioid crisis, the normalization of psychedelics, the scourge of Burning Man, and, well, Euphoria.
When Neptune interacts with other planets, it can awaken sensitivities to high consciousness and deeper intuition; look for Neptune in your chart to realize your own moment of grabbing the lightsaber or wand. But as the planet of altered consciousness — what astrologer Richard Tarnas describes in Cosmos & Psyche as “melted ecstasy” — Neptune can take you for a ride as its placements reveal areas of vagueness, self-destruction, and insobriety. How do you lose yourself completely?
Coming after Mars and before Saturn, Jupiter moves through each sign at a clip of about one year. As the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter synthesizes the experiences of our personal planets into gifts to be shared with the world. Where Jupiter goes in your chart, a spotlight follows, illuminating a stage of expansion and opportunity (For the nonbelievers: Robert Pattinson enjoyed his Jupiter return the week of The Batman’s release).
For all Jupiter’s magnanimity, the planet gets its name from Zeus, the lightning god who could not curb his roving infidelities, regardless of the consequences. Jupiter doesn’t know how to say no, and depending which planets it interacts with, it can indicate mania (Mercury), overindulgence (Venus), and ego inflation (Mars).
Jupiter spent most of 2021 in Aquarius, helping to encourage optimism in the arena of public health and new modes of technological connection. The majority of 2022 sees Jupiter in Pisces, hopefully starting the new decade in a state of communion and forward movement. Any minute now…
JUPITER & NEPTUNE
In traditional astrology, Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces, helping the sign of personal history and lived lessons to bring all experiences to synthesis. And since Neptune’s confirmed discovery in 1846, it could only rule one sign. Think of Neptune as the fish which swims downstream, carried by a current that could be buoyed by higher spiritual vibrations — or get crushed by the overwhelming deluge of empathic terror all around us. Jupiter, then, is the upstream swimmer, fighting to keep the party going, pushing too hard to reach nirvana. Jupiter is the manic and Neptune the depressive.
When well-focused, Jupiter can throw lightning bolts of consciousness into Neptune’s creative field and point you to a higher calling. How can you be a productive part of the evolving gestalt mind? But often, these planetary energies set loose dangerous escapism and an inability to reconcile with reality. The simulation becomes more stimulating than the real surroundings. Their clashes bring forth what astrologer Alan Oken describes as “a dream world which all too often results in rude awakenings.” How much is too much? How do you come back from the high?
JUPITER & NEPTUNE IN PISCES
Indeed, in Pisces, there is no coming back. This convergence promises to release the full torrent, and with it possibilities of healing and annihilation. The last conjunction in Pisces came in 1856, the birth year of Sigmund Freud, who gave form and definition (Jupiter) to the unconscious (Neptune). Freud’s work ushered forth the modern age of therapy and its many offshoots, but also led directly to the birth of the advertising industry, as documented in The Century of the Self. Now, as Neptune reaches its fever pitch in Pisces, that same industry has access to every facet of our identities, choices, and private lives. “The more time people waste feuding online, the more they idly reveal about their browsing habits,” writes Becca Rothfeld, in The New Yorker. “The more they idly reveal about their browsing habits, the more precisely they can be targeted by advertisers.” We’ve fallen into an abyss of algorithms.
With information and entertainment literally streaming, like channels of the Piscean current, there is great possibility for connection and creativity, and a buoying of new and previously unheralded voices. But by logging in, we fall prey to what Marianne Williamson would describe as dark psychic forces, or, in Grace Jones’s terms, the corporate cannibals. Previous Jupiter/Neptune conjunctions (in other signs) saw the invention of the Macintosh personal computer, the founding of Fox conservative cable journalism, the election of Barack Obama, and the Mormon migration to Salt Lake City. Something new is being born or catalyzed in this moment, but just like any precious vessel, it can be corrupted.
JUPITER & NEPTUNE FOR YOU
The new release of Everything Everywhere All At Once sums up the empathic chaos of the moment, when attention is stretched at its thinnest, and the last torches of concern or vision fall dark to bitter nihilism. The movie’s multidimensional battle plays out between two archetypes: Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), the avatar of connection; and the cosmic arch-villain Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu), bringer of dissolution.
And those are the two choices offered, as the deluge of noise becomes a tempest on April 12: Hang onto something real, or fall into the storm. The first assignment with such a massive Neptune moment is to inspect toxic connections, false gods, or dangerous means of escape. Inspect the coping mechanisms which have stagnated and further isolated you, and the networks and portals which lead you away from feeling genuine love or motivation.
Any form of sobriety — whether chemical, emotional, sexual, or otherwise — will serve you when the big downloads start to drop from April 12 and continue throughout the month (look out for the five-planet pileup in Pisces on April 26). With a close awareness of the psychic shmutz you’re still clinging to, you can then tap into the higher grace of this transit: connection. Make April a time of experimentation, collaboration, and community. Now is the time to build a new network based on a new shared ethos. If you were to answer your calling, who would share your path? And if you wanted to build something of value this decade, how would you care for yourself along the way? When the Nile splits open, make sure you’re walking through it — and not drowning under it.