Photo illustration of the planets Jupiter and Uranus juxtaposed over each other.

Astrology with Alice: When planets align

Jupiter and Uranus will line up on April 20 to form an energetic superplanet, but what does that mean for us?

Words by Alice Smith

Astrology with Alice: Welcome to Astrology with Alice, a monthly astrology column aimed at helping readers understand the vibes of the month ahead in plain English. As a Taiwanese immigrant who grew up in Los Angeles, I specialize in combining western astrology with eastern philosophy. I’ve taught modern astrology through the lens of Buddhism and Taoism, and I also draw from the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Knowing the movements of the planets can help us make decisions around our careers, relationships, family. As the planets move around in the sky, they shift the energetic vibes we experience on Earth, and I believe in flowing with energy instead of fighting it—to work smarter, not harder. So join me on our monthly planetary lowdowns and learn how you, too, can ride the cosmic waves!

At the beginning of every year, astrologers catalog and talk about the big upcoming celestial events. Last year, the major planets didn’t really sync up, but that’s changing in 2024. This year, all eyes are on something called the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction that’s happening on April 20, hot on the heels of the eclipses.

A conjunction occurs when two planets line up with each other from our perspective here on Earth. When that happens, the energies of the two planets merge into one superplanet—energetically speaking, of course. Since the inner planets like Mercury and Venus have such a faster orbit, we don’t really put as much weight into their frequent conjunctions with other planets, but when the slower outer planets like Jupiter and Uranus align, we definitely stop and take notice because they are considered astrological heavy-hitters.

Jupiter represents worldly power and success—authority, wealth, optimism, and popularity. Astrologically, we believe that it amplifies whatever it comes into contact with in a birth chart. Meanwhile, Uranus imbues whatever it touches with a rebellious streak and is associated with technological advances, innovation, genius, brilliance, and nonconformity. If Jupiter is the high school homecoming king, Uranus is the wildcard, outcast kid who’s kind of weird but might end up becoming the next Steve Jobs…as long as they can channel their revolutionary urges productively.

If Jupiter is the high school homecoming king, Uranus is the wildcard, outcast kid who’s kind of weird but might end up becoming the next Steve Jobs…as long as they can channel their revolutionary urges productively.

When these two planets sync up and their energies merge, we experience breakthroughs across the board. Emotional, professional, cultural, artistic—wherever we can flip the proverbial switch, it can happen. The expansive power of Jupiter amplifies the Uranian urge to rebel against fakery and to innovate new ways of doing things. They call upon us to stop defending the status quo and align our lives into a more progressive experience. (Therein, however, also lies the danger of overextending ourselves if we overreach.)

Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions happen about every 14 years, and major innovations and paradigm shifts occur when these two planets get close to each other. During the years of Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions, Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), the early Internet was created (1969), and Instagram launched (2010). The conjunction of 1954 saw the Supreme Court’s decision on Brown v Board of Education, which signaled the end of racial segregation. “Rock Around the Clock” was also released that same year by Bill Haley & His Comets, which launched rock and roll into the mainstream. Many more culturally significant events, technological advances, and counterculture revolutions occurred during conjunction years that are too numerous to list here. Long story short, the combined energies of Jupiter and Uranus push us to do what we haven’t considered doing before, and the political, cultural, and artistic landscapes of the world change in their aftermath.

I have personal experience with this event. The last conjunction in 2010 happened at 0º Aries, which is exactly where the sun is in my birth chart. The sun is the seat of identity—what might be called “the ego” in psychology. And that was the year a giant wrench was thrown into my professional plans that completely derailed my trajectory and sent me hurtling down an unforeseen career path. With time, I realized that what I originally thought that I wanted to do with my life actually didn’t fit me at all. I was chasing respect and kudos, doing it for everybody but me, and I wasn’t actually looking to build something sustainable for both my sanity and my soul. (I thought that, just because I was a good student, I wanted to go to grad school and become an academic—even though I have little patience for teaching, hate reading, bore easily, and dislike authority. Hilarious, right?)

Once freed of the layers of shoulds and oughts that I dressed myself in, I was finally free to look at paths that I never gave myself a chance to explore before, which actually led to my becoming an astrologer.

And while I have the benefit of hindsight now, at the time it was a psychologically jarring experience. I felt robbed of the foundation on which I had built my sense of identity. But, once freed of the layers of shoulds and oughts that I dressed myself in, I was finally free to look at paths that I never gave myself a chance to explore before, which actually led to my becoming an astrologer.

So much of our perspective is trapped by convention. We limit what we think is possible based on what we’ve been taught and told. What the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction aims to do is to dislodge us from where we’re stuck so we can finally turn around and see other options that we’ve been blind to—to challenge our own personal status quo. It shows us where we’ve been hoodwinked by conventional wisdom. It addresses the ways we’ve talked ourselves out of making our lives better—because we don’t have enough money, resources, or because convention has told us that it’s impossible—and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions beg us to answer the question, “Why the heck not?”

This year’s conjunction will happen at 21º of Taurus, so if you were born during the dates listed below, this conjunction will have a stronger impact on you. If your birthday is listed, don’t freak out. Just remember that the key to navigating this transit is to loosen your grip on control, not stay rigidly married to a planned path, and remain open to new possibilities.

Tauruses born around May 10-16

Leos born around August 12-18

Scorpios born around November 12-18

Aquariuses born around February 10-16

Even if you don’t have planets near 21º of Taurus, this conjunction will still land somewhere in your chart. Find your sign in the list below to see what area of life will be affected by the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.

The astrological sign for aries.Aries: Money, assets, job

Taurus: Sense of personal identity and appearanceThe astrological sign for taurus

The astrological sign for geminiGemini: Mental health

The astrological sign for cancer.Cancer: Friends, communities, networks

The astrological sign for leo.Leo: Career and public roles

The astrological sign for virgo.Virgo: Education, travel, publishing

The astrological sign for libra.Libra: Finances (and also taxes, so don’t cut corners when filing this year)

The astrological sign for scorpio.Scorpio: Partnerships

The astrological sign for sagittarius.Sagittarius: Health and work

The astrological sign for capricorn.Capricorn: Romance and children

The astrological sign for aquarius.Aquarius: Home and family

The astrological sign for pisces.Pisces: Writing and communication

Published on March 29, 2024

Words by Alice Smith

Alice Smith has loved astrology ever since she read her first horoscope as a kid. She’s a certified, professional astrologer who reads birth charts for clients all over the world and has spoken at events throughout the Pacific Northwest. Alice learned to write horoscopes from her mentor Rebecca Gordon who was herself mentored by the grande dame of horoscope writing, Susan Miller. Alice has a degree in sociology from the University of Washington and is (too) obsessed with her “Furgo” (furry Virgo) cat, whose birth chart she often interprets on social media.

Art by Ryan Quan

Ryan Quan is the Social Media Editor for JoySauce. This queer, half-Chinese, half-Filipino writer and graphic designer loves everything related to music, creative nonfiction, and art. Based in Brooklyn, he spends most of his time dancing to hyperpop and accidentally falling asleep on the subway. Follow him on Instagram at @ryanquans.