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This article on the Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction featured in the Spring Equinox edition of The Career Astrologer and was then selected to be featured in Astrodienst, one of the largest astrology sites in the world.
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Back to the Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction!
The Jupiter-Pluto conjunction is an interesting cycle simply because astronomically, the two planets couldn’t be more different. In Jupiter, we have the largest planet, a gas giant with huge storms on its surface seeming to govern a huge range of various sizes of satellites. In Pluto, we have a binary system (along with its Moon Charon) that deceived scientists into thinking it was bigger than it actually is. Pluto and Charon are two big rocks rotating around a central barycentre (very unlike our Earth-Moon barycentre which is in the middle of the earth). Personally, I’ve always liked the idea that the most important point of the Pluto-Charon system is invisible.
Mythologically, Jupiter and Pluto are polar opposites. Jupiter is a sky god whose position in the heavens gave him the ability to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He was in charge of laws and higher order. Pluto was the god of the Underworld, powerful and wealthy in his own right. Together, it would make sense that they could create something big out of something small. Before I started the research, I expected mundane events like nuclear explosions, advances in microbiology and secret investigations that unearthed powerful secrets. I seemed to have found something different to what I expected.
Methodology:I wanted to try to avoid cherry picking but it is rather difficult to do for such a short article. I chose people and events based on a close Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. The ones here are just a small sample but I would like to investigate a broader base of information. I’d be interested in seeing some other ideas as to how this can be done.
To find the entire span of Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions and to make sure I wasn’t missing out on those tricky retrograde periods, I tracked the conjunctions week by week using Solar Fire. I found it rather remarkable that these two very different planets had such a tandem of movement that prolonged their periods of conjunctions. Quite simply, I had never thought of looking at the conjunctions in this way. The Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions—keeping to an orb of no more than 8 degrees– pretty much extend throughout the whole of 2020.
So how do the Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions manifest? I’ve broken the conjunctions into sections by date and I’ve chosen events and people who have the conjunction with a very tight orb of only one or two degrees. Without too much cherry picking, I was surprised the events of the conjunction seemed to match the themes of Jupiter-Pluto and the signs they are in.
Pluto was discovered on 18 February 1930 with Pluto at 17 degrees Cancer and Jupiter at 6 degrees Gemini. By the end of August 1930, Pluto was within an 8 degree orb conjunction of Pluto in Cancer and by the end of October, they were at the same degree (20 Cancer). Pluto stationed that week then turned retrograde and a few weeks later, Jupiter also turned retrograde. The planets stayed within an eight degree orb and by May 1931, were exactly conjunct again and finally moved out of orb by mid-July 1931. Eighteen months is a long time for a conjunction and is the longest term for these conjunctions.
During this time, the US was in the grips of the Great Depression which of course had a knock on effect for the whole world. It is estimated the GDP fell by 15% and many people took their own lives after losing everything.
On 15 November 1930, when both Jupiter and Pluto were in exact conjunction, the film “Hell’s Angels” starring Jean Harlow, was released. It made Harlow a household name. The title of the film is a literal example of the conjunction! Although the film is celebrated as being the first talking action film, it is also has a notorious reputation for the deaths of several pilots who died during filming as well as its enormous budget.
In medicine during the conjunction, penicillin was first used to cure an eye infection and the vaccine to prevent diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) was developed. This is a great example of the small, microscopic world of antibodies being used to prevent major diseases. As the ruler of the conjunction is associated with children and childhood, these advances were greatly beneficial to children who are susceptible to these diseases.
Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Leo were in orb of conjunction again in mid-June 1943. By the end of July, they were on the same degree in Leo and conjunct the Sun and by mid September, they were out of orb.
World War Two was raging during this time, with men suffering the intense anguish of battle. With their men and sons in the trenches, women were effectively left to do the day to day jobs the men usually did—and for the first time, began earning their own money. This severely disturbed the balance of power as women began to experience the joys of being in control of their own finances. When the men returned, of course the women were reluctant to go back to the kitchen to work for free.
During the exact conjunction at the end of July, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was arrested. Essentially, Italy had been led to defeat. Just before his arrest, he was quoted as saying: “Seven years ago, I was an interesting person. Now I am little more than a corpse . . .Yes Madam, I am finished. My star has fallen.”[i]The famous photo of his corpse a few years later, along with his mistress’ and key players of his regime, hanging upside down to be posthumously abused by mobs is an enduring image of complete defeat.
Mick Jagger (26 July 1943, 2:30am, Dartford UK, A: Rodden) is a very famous embodiment of the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Leo. He is known for his energy and vitality on stage and in the bedroom (he has had numerous alliances with beautiful women and is the father of eight children with five women). His band The Rolling Stones is one of the most influential and longest lasting acts in music.
Pluto and Jupiter met in conjunction again at the end of the summer in 1955, in the sign of Leo and both were at 28 Leo by the end of October. Jupiter moved on into Virgo but the first week in December, Pluto was retrograde, followed by Jupiter a couple of weeks later. They were on the same degree again (27 Leo) at the beginning of February and again in June 1956 (26 Leo). The remained within 8 degrees until August. This conjunction, like the one in 1930, coincided with both planets in retrograde motion. However, the length of the conjunction was considerably shorter.
On the day the conjunction was exact, the Vietnam War started. This was a brutal, costly war and, many would say, unnecessary war on foreign soil that lasted for nearly 20 years and effectively tore the US apart with large, public protests and families being split apart as conscientious objectors to the draft abandoned their homes to escape being forced to battle.
On a more positive note, Elvis Presley entered the charts with his song “Heartbreak Hotel” which was released in January 1956. The song would become a major influence on other musical performers and Elvis would become known as the King (Jupiter-Pluto in Leo!) of Rock-n-Roll. He would also inherit all the trappings of accumulating such vast amounts of money at such a young age.
Bill Gates (28 October 1955, 21:15, Seattle Washington, B: Rodden) was born with Jupiter-Pluto in Leo. One of the richest people on the planet, he made his fortune with computer software. It is interesting that his contributions have helped us eliminate the clutter on our desks: we have computer programs that have replaced the need for physical items such as paper files, dictionaries and appliances such as cameras and tape recorders.
The next time Jupiter and Pluto were in conjunction was at the end of the summer in 1968, in the sign Virgo. They were at the same degree (23 Virgo) in October of that same year and remained in orb until mid-December. However, in March 1969 owing to retrograde motion, they were within orb of conjunction and remained in orb until mid-July.
On 1 October 1968, the film “Night of the Living Dead” was released with Jupiter and Pluto within two degrees of each other in Virgo. The film was released before there were ratings to help guide parents on whether or not films were suitable for their young offspring before dropping them off at the cinema on a Saturday morning. The film scared the living daylights out of unsuspecting children and it is now one of the main reasons films have become rated. Just imagine being a child and expecting one of the semi-comical horror movies only to be inflicted with ghouls biting humans and turning them into the undead. The film is regarded as one of the finest examples of the “splatter” technique too. Blood, guts, and plenty of the undead coming for you. Yes, that sounds like Jupiter-Pluto to me.
In September 1981, Jupiter and Pluto were again in conjunction, reaching the same degree in Libra at the beginning of November. By December, they had moved out of orb for conjunction. In May – August 1982, they were again within 8 degrees of orb but did not reach exact conjunction.
The big events in this year of Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Libra? How about two record breaking weddings? On 16 November 1981, Laura and Luke tied the knot in General Hospital. This television event was watched by more people than any other televised event save for Charles and Diana’s wedding which took place in July that year. Around the time of the General Hospitalwedding, was when it was announced that Diana was pregnant with the future king of England.
Jupiter and Pluto were again in conjunction mid October 1994, reaching the same degree in Scorpio by the end of November and moving out of an 8 degree orb by mid-January 1995. Owing to retrograde motion, they became within 8 degrees of each other in July 1995 but did not come closer than that.
As children are taught by year group, planetary conjunctions to Jupiter have always been an interest to me. In fact, I was responsible for an entire year group of students who all pretty much had this Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. I taught them for seven years and was greatly enriched by the experience. I pushed them to travel and I wore out the foreign language department with my requests for extra lessons and field trips. In exam results, theirs were the highest marks our school had ever received.
Jupiter and Pluto (and Mercury) in Scorpio were within one degree of conjunction when serial killer, necrophile and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison. Dahmer’s crimes were so horrific that they are hardly suitable for mention in a respectable periodical. Suffice to say it suits the theme of sky god meets underworld god. Natally, Dahmer had Jupiter in Capricorn trine by an orb of one degree to Pluto in Virgo. Although this is hardly the astrological signature of a serial killer, it is noteworthy his death occurred at their conjunction.
In October 2007, Jupiter and Pluto met up in Sagittarius, reaching exact conjunction at 28 degrees in mid-December. They were out of orb of conjunction a few weeks later.
On the 20 December 2007, Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest serving monarch beating the record of 63 years and 7 months that had been held by Queen Victoria. What is striking about this is that this is a dissociate conjunction with Pluto at 28 Sagittarius and Jupiter at 0 Capricorn with the Sun sandwiched between them at 29 Sagittarius. The current Queen of England is often noted for her sense of responsibility and devotion to duty.
As my primary interest is astrology and education, I’d like to point out that many children born in 2007 have the natal Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. They of course are now going through adolescence and an understanding of their learning styles would greatly help to support them through this very tricky time of their lives.
At the beginning of February 2020, Jupiter and Pluto were within an 8 degree orb in the sign of Capricorn. They will be on the same degree (24 Capricorn) at the beginning of April and owing to retrograde motion, will return to the same degree (24 Capricorn) in late June. They will be exactly conjunct again at 22 Capricorn in November and remain in orb until the end of the year. Note that this is an orb of a four degree opposition to its exact conjunction in 1930 after the discovery of Pluto.
Her Majesty, the Queen of England is going through a very rough time and as I have said in other articles, it isn’t over yet. On 21 June 2020, not only will Pluto and Jupiter be conjunct in Capricorn, it will be within 3 degrees of her ascendant which also affects the ascendant of the Duchess of Sussex. Prince William was born during a dissociate Jupiter-Pluto conjunction and the eclipse of 21 June 2020 will be conjunct his Sun and Moon.
I am very much looking forward to presenting more of my findings in an upcoming webinar.
[i]Nelson, John (2005), The Twilight of Italian Fascism,enter.stage.right.com, website accessed 2020 by author