The Tarot: a psychological approach…

Although this is a blog about astrology, many astrologers also use the Tarot as a way of working with their clients, so I thought I’d post this link to the two-part article I am currently running on my main blog on that topic.

http://anne-whitaker.com/2014/08/15/introducing-the-tarot-a-psychological-perspective/

The Tarot

The Tarot  

TreeHouse interviews astrologer, writer and blogger Anne Whitaker

TH: What initially drove you to create the Astrology: Questions and Answers site at http://www.annewhitaker.com?

AW: Answering questions about astrology is something I have done both for my students and for myself for a very long time! Then a couple of years ago, I was invited to run an astrology blog from a popular local site here in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. I thought it would be fun to call it  Astrology: Questions and Answers, since by this time my astrological writings on Writing from the Twelfth House were attracting various kinds of correspondence via comments and emails from readers. Inevitably, questions were a big part! The local site proved too limiting, so I set up my own Astrology: Questions and Answers blog.

To read the rest of the interview, click HERE

TreeHouse

 

Zodiac

Zodiac

2o0 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Jupiter in Leo 2014 -15: what will it bring ?

Click on the links for detail on the Jupiter 11-12 year cycle, and Jupiter in Leo, the first two articles in this series. This third article explores the 2014-15 journey of Jupiter through the sign of Leo, in relation to the twelve houses of the natal horoscope.

What does the Jupiter in Leo year hold?

What does the Jupiter in Leo year hold?

I thought I’d kick off this article with an exchange a few weeks ago on this site between my blogging friend Ellis Nelson and myself:

ellisnelson Jupiter moves to the 9th house for me and I’m looking forward to it!

Sounds great! Jupiter in his own house adds an extra ‘woosh!. So –  teaching in any sphere, embarking on Higher Ed yourself, long distance travel – and, can it be (??!! ) book promoting and publishing. Enjoy!

Ellis is a fine writer; her blog, ellisnelson, is well worth a visit. Here is her credo: Mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write. (WB Yeats): I do not know her horoscope, but would expect from what I know of her writing that the planet Jupiter is a powerful influence.

You can see from her comment and my reply, in broad brush stroke terms, what that year-long transit of Jupiter in Leo through her Ninth house is likely to bring.

In my own case, Jupiter has just moved into the Eleventh house; I am about to begin teaching my first astrology class for over 12 years (a whole Jupiter Cycle ago!). It is a ‘refresher’ class for some students I have taught over a number of years, whose astrology has become ‘rusty’ and needs a polish. Jupiter in Leo is up for the task!

The Eleventh House concerns all activity connected to one’s link to the human family, one’s family of origin, and the groups and friendships in which one is involved. So I can expect a year where my wider connections with people grow, develop, and (hopefully!) bring me and those with whom I come into contact some measure of inspiration, broadening of perspectives – and fun.

A broad picture 

As ever, it is important at the outset of a general article like this to stress that one can only really judge in detail what the essence of any planetary shift is likely to be from consideration of the whole horoscope or birth chart. However, it is certainly possible to sketch out a broad picture here which can offer some perspective: both to readers with some astrological knowledge, and to those of you with little or none who are curious to know more.

One of the great gifts of astrological understanding is the help it offers in setting our sails, metaphorically speaking, to the prevailing winds of our lives.

Thinking ‘big’ with Jupiter in Leo

So, by considering which house the larger-than-life planet Jupiter is traversing at any given time, we can gain a good general idea of what to expect, and plan accordingly. Jupiter in Leo is theatrical, dramatic and expansive. It needs stimulus, fresh perspectives and challenges, bringing a quality of restless creative energy to whatever house it graces with its benevolent presence.

It is also well worth mentioning Leo’s strong link with matters to do with children: your own, or other people’s, eg as a teacher. So, look out for this dimension in whatever house has Leo on the cusp, as Jupiter passes through that sector over the next year.

You need to ‘think big’ with regard to the affairs of the house of Jupiter in Leo’s year-long residence. But not too big. As I discussed in the second article in this series, Jupiter is prone to excess. As William Blake’s famous line puts it:

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” (i)

…well, not always! One of the perils of Jupiter’s residence in any house is a tendency to overdo things.

Unfortunately, my advice to be careful of excess during this Jupiter transit is, I realise, unlikely to be heeded – especially by ME as I sit here at 6 am (I am not normally, at all, an early riser), typing away furiously in order to inform and entertain all you Eleventh house folk, my readers, out there. …

Pairs of Houses

It’s important here to point out that the houses, like the signs, operate in complementary opposites, in pairs. Ellis’s Third and Ninth houses are stimulated by Jupiter’s transit of the Ninth. Thus gathering a variety of types of information and experiences (Third) and placing them in the context of the Big Picture (Ninth) on a bigger scale than usual, describes the essence of her Jupiter through Leo year.

My Fifth and Eleventh houses are up for challenge and expansion. Thus my creative impulses (Fifth) are focused and directed through sharing learning and new perspectives with the groups and friendship networks (Eleventh) in which I am involved. You’ve already seen how this has begun to work out!

If you have an early degrees of Aquarius Ascendant or Rising Sign, then your Descendant or point of significant others is in Leo. Jupiter has just crossed that point and is now traversing the Seventh house, highlighting the First house also. This is the Me (First house ) in relation to You (Seventh house) pair.

Thus Jupiter travelling through your Seventh house strongly emphasises your need for challenge, excitement and new developments on the relationship front. I’ve often seen this core meaning express through the branch of clients becoming involved with a new partner from another country and/or culture.

Generally speaking, it’s a transit which brings new and growth-enhancing relationships into one’s life.  You are also likely to encounter more than one significant new person whose Sun Sign is Leo…But watch it! It can also bring over-optimism: seeing in A.N.Other what you want to see, rather than what is actually there.

So – always be aware in considering the impact of transiting Jupiter (or any other planet by transit) through the houses, that the opposite house is also involved, although the ‘weighting’ is always in the house in which Jupiter is its year-long visitor. In fact, quite often it may feel as though the house in which Jupiter is resident draws energy away from its opposite house.

For example, Louis, focusing on renovations on the home front (Jupiter transiting 4th House) could feel his inclination towards putting energy into his career (10th House) temporarily diminishing.We will meet him again at the end of this post.

Meeting friends along the way

Some houses are empty of natal planets (although NOT lacking in importance – this is the subject of another article in itself!) . Others, on the other hand, are tenanted natally by anything from one to several planets.

Let’s imagine that Uranus, in Leo,  lives in your Tenth house of vocation, career, direction. In essence, this indicates that you are a person whom a conventional, structured, rule-bound career would not suit at all. You are in your mid-thirties, have already had three career changes, and are feeling bored and restless. (note: third Jupiter Return approaching!)

Jupiter swings by your Tenth House for a year, spending some time hanging out with Uranus in Leo. A work colleague takes you along to a seminar on astrology given by a charismatic astrology teacher. You are completely bowled over, spend a year reading everything you can get your hands on concerning this fascinating new subject. Three years later you have changed career again, having gone freelance: guess what the new career is, folks?!

Someone else, let’s call him Mark,  has four planets in Leo in the Twelfth House. He works very hard as a social worker specialising in welfare rights  (Aquarius on the Sixth House cusp). Jupiter enters the Twelfth House, and Mark feels a strong creative pull toward his spiritual life, towards retreat and reflection. He is due some sabbatical leave, so embarks on a three-month retreat in a nearby Buddhist monastery.

Conclusion – and Louis’s story

I hope that this brief exploration of a range of possible means of expression  stimulates you to reflect on the House in your horoscope currently tenanted by Jupiter. If you are new to astrology, why not have your chart calculated by one of the reputable services such as Astrodienst, so that you can find out? Or better still, go and have an astrology reading with a qualified, experienced and reputable astrologer.

In reflecting on that highlighted house, and considering how best to direct Jupiter’s energy there, bear in mind, whatever the house is, what I said earlier in this article:

Jupiter in Leo is theatrical, dramatic and expansive. It needs stimulus, fresh perspectives and challenges, bringing a quality of restless energy to whatever house it graces with its benevolent presence.

I hope you can make the best of the opportunities and challenges which Jupiter may bring into your life in the year ahead. As ever, it would be great to get some feedback, since putting real flesh on the bones of the symbolism is how we all, beginners or experienced astrologers alike, become fluent in our craft.

I’d like to conclude the article with some brilliant feedback given to me a few days ago by a friend, who I’ve named Louis.

Jupiter entered Leo on 16th July 2014. Louis’s IC, beginning his Fourth House, is at 0 degrees 49 minutes of Leo. The Commonwealth Games began in Glasgow, Scotland, UK on 24th July 2014, just as Jupiter by transit crossed Louis’s IC, beginning a year-long transit of his Fourth House. For the two weeks preceding this major event,Louis and his friends were hard at work renovating and decorating an upstairs flat in Louis’s house in order to let it out for the Commonwealth Games.

He first let the flat out on 23rd July, and it was let continuously to three different lots of visitors during the ten days of the Games. In this way, not only did Louis cover the cost of the renovations: he now has a regular source of income which he can draw on by continuing to let out that flat, thereby improving his financial position.

Another issue cropped up at exactly the same time, which may well result in Louis having an inheritance or profound gain of some kind - not necessarily material. Jupiter first crosses his Pluto at 16 degrees Leo early in October 2014, again in mid-February 2015, before crossing for a third time and moving on at the end of May/beginning of June 2015. We shall have to wait and see whether this plays out in concrete material terms, or as powerful gain of some other kind.

I’ll let you know! In the meantime, if any beginning astrologers are reading this: tell me why I put forward those possible outcomes from Jupiter crossing Pluto in Leo in the Fourth House. Any offers?

 And – feedback on your experiences of Jupiter in Leo through any of the Houses/over any of the four Angles of your horoscope, is always welcome.

References

(i) from William Blake’s  “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, one of the “proverbs of Hell”.

Zodiac

Zodiac

1850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

More about Cycles: planning your autumn with the Sun/Moon cycle

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (i)

Since my recent popular post about the Jupiter Cycle, I have had a few requests to write about other planetary cycles. My blogging friend, Linda Leinen, is interested in hearing about the effects of the planets on plant growth. I aim to track down a former student, Janice Sharkey (are you reading this, Janice?!) who is a specialist in astrological gardening, to contribute a Guest post on this fascinating topic. 

 In the meantime, I thought it might be useful to introduce the fundamental regulating cycle of life on Earth – the cycle of the Sun and Moon. I’ve included a light-hearted ‘guide’ on how best to use the upcoming energies of the autumn new moons in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.

The Sun/Moon Cycle

The Sun/Moon Cycle

marianneohagan.com

Sun and Moon – heavenly partners

Astronomically, we know that the Moon is a small satellite of the Earth, and the Sun is the great cosmic life-giver, much, much farther out in space. By a planetary quirk, the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, but 400 times nearer the Earth, so we see them as the same size.This is why eclipses can occur, since at the time of a solar eclipse the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out its light totally if the angle of observation is exact.

Astrologers distill symbolic meaning from the astronomical facts of our solar system. They see the Sun and Moon as of equal but complementary importance in the quest to understand the ever-shifting dance of cosmic energy, and where we fit in.

The Sun is rather like the Greek hero Jason, setting out on his quest for the Golden Fleece; the Moon, the unfolding pattern of the quest and the experiences which arise from it. The Sun is cerebral, seeking to create meaning from experience. The Moon is the body, receiving and interacting with that experience of everyday life from which meaning can be distilled.

The monthly weaving

The movements of all nine planets plus the Moon are plotted throughout the year against a 360 degree imaginary circular band in the sky called the Zodiac, which is divided into twelve thirty degree sectors called Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on.

The Sun and the Moon have a 29.5 day cycle of relationship with each other, beginning with a conjunction at the New Moon, when the Sun and Moon occupy the same part of the sky. On 25 August 2014, for example, the New Moon takes place in the Virgo sector, which the Sun will occupy for most of September. After about three days the beautiful, fragile waxing crescent moon appears, indicating that the energy of a new cycle of earthly life has begun to take shape.

 

The Moon moves much faster than the Sun. Within a week, it has moved on to Sagittarius. The Sun and Moon are now at an angle of 90 degrees to each other.The Moon has become fatter, more substantial. Equally, the energy of the cycle has established itself in concrete action. Two weeks into the cycle, we have the Full Moon, with the Moon now in Pisces, opposite the Sun.

The energy of the cycle at this point is at its most potent and visible. In ancient times, the full moon point was an important one, eg in the timing of rituals. Symbolically, the energy of that point had a charging-up effect on whatever was being enacted. The contrast between the forces of light and darkness, birth and death, masculine and feminine, was at its most amplified and potent. Even in this era of electric light and rational analysis, many people can detect a heightening of their energy and emotions at the time of the full moon.

By the last quarter, a week before the next New Moon, the Moon is visible in Gemini, 90 degrees apart from the Sun again, returning this time to meet it.The energy of the month’s cycle is fading. The splendidly full moon has diminished markedly in girth. Like the autumn of the year, the efforts of the earlier phase of the cycle have produced results which are now being harvested, for good or ill.

The next New Moon falls on 24 September, in Libra. 21-24 September represents the very end of the cycle which began in Virgo. This period was known to the Ancients as Moondark – a time of ending, as the old cycle dies, and the new one prepares to be born from the dark womb of the night.

Personal timing – some practical tips

Farmers do not plant their corn in the autumn. That is the time for reaping, just as sowing should occur in the spring, when new life is beginning to surge up from the earth refreshed by its long winter rest.

Thus we can use the Sun/Moon cycle in a very practical way, to help us set our own activity in the context of the natural waxing and waning of the energy of life through space and time.The guidelines which follow can only be general; for specific detail we each have our individual life blueprint or horoscope.

The horoscope or birth chart shows, in symbolic form, the characters who enact the play of our lives as the script, ie the ever-changing movement of the planets, unfolds the action of the drama. Nevertheless, the Sun/Moon cycle offers a useful structure in broad terms. Let’s explore how this can offer an aid to planning over the next few months.

Autumn Guidelines

If you are intending to initiate something, eg a business, a marriage, a new project in the home, try to wait if you can until there is a New Moon which reflects the nature of the enterprise.The new moons over the autumn of 2014 are in Virgo on 25 August, Libra on 24 September, and Scorpio on 23 October.

Virgo is an earth sign, its energies strongly service oriented, practical, and good at managing detail. It is also extremely hard working, and analytical.So – the Virgo new moon would be an ideal time to start that blitz on your admin system which you’ve been putting off all year, or for putting special effort into re-organising and cleaning up the garden.

Libra, another air sign, is connected to the arts, the aesthetic side of life, and to relationship. Thus the Libran new moon would be ideal for re-decorating your home, taking up an arts-related hobby like painting or theatre-going – or setting that wedding date…

Scorpio is a water sign, very much connected to emotional intensity and passion.It also has strong links to all those aspects of life which carry a powerful charge: sex, death, psychotherapy and money being just a few. So if you want to embark on a passionate affair, make your will, sort out a deep-rooted emotional problem which has been left to fester, or persuade your bank manager to give you that big loan, this is the month to do it!

At the New Moon point, life’s energies are still fluid, unformed, and the Moon itself is invisible. Initiatives are best taken between three and seven days later – from the first waxing crescent to the first quarter.

Moondark is the last three days of the cycle.The Moon disappears then, as the energy of the month wanes. It is wise to avoid initiating something important during this time; it is best used for winding down, withdrawal, contemplation and reflection, stock-taking, preparing for the new.

Many readers will know some of the stories of King Arthur, the legendary king of ancient times. He ruled just as the old pagan beliefs were being superceded by the rise of Christianity. When he married Guinevere, he did so in a Christian ceremony at Moondark. The pagan priests were appalled at this. “No good will come of it ” was their view.They were right. The marriage of Arthur and Guinevere was barren, and she spent most of it in love with another man, the knight Sir Launcelot.

Applying the cycle to the Big Picture

The metaphor of the monthly Sun/Moon cycle can be used as a template for helping to understand the much longer cycles of human life. The biggest cycle astrologers work with is the Neptune Pluto cycle: those two planets meet only once every 492 years, and this New Moon point symbolises the start of a whole epoch of human development.

The most recent one took place in 1891/2 in Gemini, ushering in the communications revolution which in a hundred years has radically altered the way we conduct life on earth. The previous one, also in Gemini, occurred in 1398/9, prefacing the Renaissance and the Reformation, two major shaping processes in European and world history.

But whether the cycle is huge, like the Neptune Pluto one, or small, like the monthly Sun/Moon one, the same basic stages apply: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new.

At a deep unconscious level, we all live out the unfolding energies of our era, sensing inner timings without the help of any astrologer. But astrology is valuable in its ability to offer a symbolic framework from which individuals can gain greater clarity, conscious awareness, and confirmation of their personal connection with the Big Picture.

Good astrological practice should support people in their courage to be themselves, help them to see that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

References

(i) The Bible : Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 Verse 1

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Zodiac

1600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Questing fire meets creative fire: exploring Jupiter in Leo

Jupiter is now settling into in the sign of Leo from 16th July 2014 – 11 August 2014.  To read the first of my series of articles exploring various facets of this lively spell of planetary “weather”, click on What is the Jupiter Cycle?

When questing, philosophical fire – Jupiter – dons the clothing of fun-loving, dramatic, look-at-me, creative fire – Leo: what  could be the result? Over the next year, we will all find out! 

Jupiter in Leo

Jupiter in Leo natally

Here are a few well- known examples of people born with Jupiter in Leo: Bjorn Borg, one of the world’s most successful tennis players. Ian Fleming, author of the famous James Bond spy novels,  known for being a bon viveur and womaniser. Simone de Beauvoir, one of the earliest feminist writers and lifelong partner of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund and eminent child psychoanalyst in her own right.

Edward Kennedy, member of a famous American family and well-known politician, not known for restraint in his personal habits.… Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. Alan Leo, famous Victorian astrologer who invented mass-market astrology. Pope John Paul the Second, the most widely-travelled pope in history. 

Broad brush strokes – and first principles

Not everyone is born with the exuberant, restless planet Jupiter in Leo, the most playful, creative sign of the zodiac. However, we all have Leo somewhere in the twelve houses of our natal horoscope. It’s important to stress that in a general article like this, one can only offer broad brush strokes of what this exuberant energy will bring to the highlighted house or houses through which Jupiter will be journeying over the coming year.

I will be looking at some of the possible ways in which Jupiter will be lighting up those highlighted houses – hopefully with some more examples from readers! – in the next article in this series. One of the many gifts offered by astrological knowledge is this: used wisely, it can help us to set our sails, metaphorically,  to the prevailing winds of our lives. 

For now, in preparing to reflect on what this particular transit may bring for us personally, it’s a good idea to return to first principles, to consider the archetypal core of the energies we are contemplating.

It’s always worth remembering that from the core or root, many branches arise. So it’s always more creative and constructive, in my opinion, to pay most attention to those core meanings – and to align oneself with them as best we can when considering what transiting planets might bring into life at any given time.

We can never quite know what branches will manifest: this is down to an interaction between the essential nature of those energies which are currently ‘live’ in our lives, our levels of consciousness, self-awareness, the choices we make – and the x factors in life which no-one can ever predict with reliable accuracy….

Having said this, let’s look at the core principles of the Jupiter in Leo combination, bearing in mind that the planet is always the key driving force, with the sign its particular “tone”, colouring or clothing.

Jupiter - the Great Benefic

Jupiter – the Great Benefic

Jupiter, the “Great Benefic”

Astrological Jupiter is known as “the great benefic”, the planet  bringing opportunity: personal wealth, political prominence, high social position, professional success – “kingship” of various kinds as befitted mythological Jupiter’s role as king of the Olympian gods. As  Charles Harvey puts it in “Orpheus” : (i)

“ he was seen as the greatest good and his blessings were everywhere invoked. No one can doubt that his message of life, vitality, hope, growth, optimism, faith and the call to meaning are profoundly desirable.”   

Psychologically, though, all forms of over-confidence, inflated sense of one’s own importance, arrogance and hubris were also assigned to the realm of Jupiter. These represent the shadow side of Jupiter’s undoubted blessings of robust faith in life’s essential value and goodness, the longing to know and to grow in wisdom, and the ability to have fun and inspire other people.

The restless drive to grow, to expand, to live a life rich in meaning, to push the boundaries of knowledge and experience as far as possible, lies at the core of astrological Jupiter. So does its shadow: restlessness which cannot and will not accept the limits set by age and time – Saturn’s domain…

Thus Jupiter’s energy brings great force, vitality and optimism. But watch out for its shadow, as set out above! There is always a tendency to overdo things with Jupiter: spending, eating, sex, consumption of drugs and alcohol, and generally “biting off more than one can chew”. 

Leo

Leo

Leo

The three fire signs: Aries the first sign of the zodiac, Leo the fifth, and Sagittarius the ninth, represent in essence an arising, development, and focus of the life force. Mars-ruled Aries is raw, primal energy, effective but not very subtle. (Sorry, Aries people! No offence meant…) In Sun-ruled Leo, the energy is settling, looking for creative outlets. And in Sagittarius, Jupiter’s own sign, it is time to pull the energies of the zodiacal journey into a framework of meaning (Please don’t stay on that soapbox too long, Sagittarius!) .

Thus Leo is self-consciously aware of its specialness, its gifts (time to be rude to Leos now: ‘ok, you’re special – but not THAT special! ‘ note: I’m allowed to say this, with my embarrassing number of planets in Leo…) and in order to flourish and to grow, needs to be encouraged and allowed to shine, to contribute something unique.

Leonine creativity doesn’t necessarily need to operate in the obvious creative arts, although it often does: drama and performance art, writing, painting and graphics, dance, musical composition, making beautiful objects e.g. jewellery, are just a few of the obvious outlets.

But  rearing stable and happy children, being a warm and loving partner and/or friend, shining Leo warmth and exuberance wherever one works, plays, and socialises: these are also wonderful ways of making people feel better, feel special themselves, as Leo shares that sunlit energy with the wider world. 

Bringing the two together

Jupiter in Leo creates a bright, strong flame. This demands – and at best, ensures – that the person in whose life such a torch is lit bears it into new, creative endeavours which are not only life-affirming, but also productive of an enlarged perspective: both for the person bearing the torch, and for those illuminated by the light. 

In collective life, which is usually less controllable than one’s personal domain, this energy can spill over and become destructive rather than illuminating. As I write this in late July 2014, with Jupiter establishing itself in Leo, we are currently witnessing in several world contexts the dreadful consequences of  polarised positions where both sides are convinced they are in the right – and more literally, of the destructive use of firepower.

In individual life, how this flame works depends on the whole set-up of a person’s horoscope. But in the general terms of this article, as we have seen, the flame brings great potential for creative development and for understanding more deeply what being a creative person in the world means, as well as opportunities coming one’s way to bring that about. 

Personal examples

As I write this, an image arises of a room full of astrology students, one moment laughing as their Leo teacher (me!) entertains them, another listening intently as the sheer magic and mystery of what astrological symbolism can reveal, penetrates their hearts and fires their imagination. I had to give up all my teaching and indeed all my work, at the end of 2001. Although I had largely recovered by 2008 and resumed part-time work in 2012, I never thought I’d teach again.

Now, as the New Moon in Leo backs up Jupiter’s entry into Leo, preparing to cross all my Leo planets (not telling you how many – but fortunately they are mostly in the Twelfth House!) over the next year, I am planning to set up and run a small refresher astrology class at the request of some of my ‘old’ students. That educational urge, along with the urge to entertain and perform, is proving irresistible as Jupiter moves into Leo, shining its light first on my eleventh house, the house of group activity and collective action. In my small way, I hope to make a bright and illuminating contribution.

I hope also to receive some more feedback on how my readers are experiencing the early entry of Jupiter into Leo. In the meantime, here is some brilliant, very illustrative feedback sent to me by a friend and fellow astrologer, extracted from an email she sent to a friend of hers. Jupiter in Leo, 12 years ago, was transiting her first house, and making a square (challenging aspect) to her Mercury: 

 “… I’ve been in a strange state of mind for a while now. Not bad, just strange. In fact quite positive really, I think – very much as if my brain has gone into overload – I’m always reading (usually 3 or 4 books at the same time) and writing and thinking about stuff, and researching stuff… it’s bizarre. And all sorts – astrology, archaeology, history, metaphysical, philosophy, occult stuff…. all sorts… constantly buzzing around in my head. It’s strange because I’m so hyped with it all that I can’t sleep at night – my head just keeps on going! Very wired….So my brain may explode really soon!!!! Aaaaargh! Still…. I’m never bored!!…”

I love this feedback. Says it all, really, about the combination of Jupiter, Leo, Mercury, and the first house…

Conclusion

Jupiter is expansive, buoyant and also excessive, so whilst enjoying its energy charge, try not to overdo it! I need to take my own advice! This is the second article generated by Jupiter’s entry into Leo. Last time I discussed the 11-12-year Jupiter Cycle. This time it’s been Jupiter in Leo. I’d like next time to spend some time exploring the effects of Jupiter in Leo through the houses, then follow that by checking out the repeating 12-year Jupiter through Leo cycle. This could go on for a whole year! See what I mean about excess? 

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NOTES:

i) Charles Harvey from ‘ War of the Worlds : Jupiter & Saturn,’ essay  in  Orpheus -Voices in Contemporary Astrology (Consider, 2000) pp 103-4

_______________

Here is the third article in the Jupiter series: 

http://astrologyquestionsandanswers.com/2014/08/11/jupiter-in-leo-2014-15-what-will-it-bring-2/

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Zodiac

1800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

What is the Jupiter Cycle?

The Jupiter Cycles

Optimistic, expansive and meaning-seeking Jupiter is now in the sign of Leo, where it will remain until 11th August 2015. Excitement is already high; try googling ‘Jupiter’s shift into Leo’ and you’ll see what I mean. My impression from talking to people, and dipping into social media, is that we are all looking for a bit of light relief from what has been a pretty bad news year thus far.

So – what is this shift likely to mean for you and me? In this two-part article, I will first of all introduce the Jupiter cycle in general. In the second part, we will look in some detail at the Jupiter cycle in relation to its  traverse of the sign of Leo. It’s important to colour theory with some lively examples of what actually happens to real people when those shifts take place. I already have some interesting material to share. Let’s go!

Part One: what is the Jupiter Cycle?

As ever, it is important at the outset of a general article to stress that one can only really judge in detail what the essence of any planetary shift is likely to be from consideration of the whole horoscope or birth chart. However, it is certainly possible to sketch out a broad picture which can offer some perspective: both to readers with some astrological knowledge, and to those of you with none who are curious to know more.

Each of the planets, travelling through the twelve signs of the zodiac as viewed from Earth, has a cycle of differing length. Pluto, currently in Capricorn, will take 248 years to traverse the 360 zodiacal degrees, returning to that sign long after we are all dead and gone! Saturn’s cycle, on the other hand, is a much shorter 29/30 years. Currently in Scorpio, dredging up all kinds of sexual scandal from its previous traverse of that sign in the 1980s, it offers us all the famous Saturn Return, returning to the place it occupied at our birth when we are 29/30 years of age – inviting us all to grow up. 

Jupiter and Saturn together form a symbolic, complementary whole: as its cycle unfolds, Saturn helps us to be realistic and to set limits without which no maturation or growth can take place. Jupiter creates contrast and balance to this. It energises that optimistic, expansive part of us which reaches out to the pleasure of new experience, new learning and understanding. Its natural exuberance can make life a fun, joyful experience.

It can also cause us to over-reach our limits, expect more than life can realistically deliver. That facet needs to be watched carefully when Jupiter is very active in our lives…

Jupiter’s cycle is 11-12 years: 11.6 years to be exact. It’s an easy one to track, being accessible both to those of you who know some astrology and those of you who don’t. Everyone can track though their lives, measuring the Jupiter cycles: Jupiter returns to its location in your birth horoscope at 11/12 years of age, 23/4, 35/6, 47/8, 59/60, 71/2, 83/4 in a currently average lifetime.

What do we look for in the Jupiter cycle? In essence, the start of each cycle represents the opening out of a whole new learning period, whose archetypal purpose is to expose us to new experience, new learning – all kinds of travelling within both inner and outer life. 

Real life flesh on symbolic bones…

These experiences may and do vary hugely from one person to another, taking their flavour from the zodiacal sign and house in which Jupiter was located when you were born.

 At 23/24 (Jupiter in Sagittarius in 9th house) you might take off to Australia to do a postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education. Your friend (Jupiter in Capricorn in 6th house) might not travel anywhere, but concentrate on mastering a new skill like carpentry which enables him after a few years’ apprenticeship to set up his own business. In the meantime, my neighbour down the street (Jupiter in Cancer in 5th house) might marry at 23/4 and have three children in rapid succession before the age of 30. In a real-life example, Alexa said: “My second Jupiter return, aged 24, coincided with me buying a house – natal Jupiter is in Cancer, which is appropriate, of course, and the house was bigger (Jupiter) than we needed for just the two of us, so we could have space for lodgers.” 

These are very different branches, Jupiter in differing signs and houses of the zodiac at birth: but the same underlying principle of expansion and growth of experience, understanding, and (hopefully!) some wisdom, shines through them all.

You can also detect the archetypal lifelong themes provided via Jupiter’s placing by sign and house in your personal horoscope, as you follow the Jupiter cycle’s unfolding throughout your lifetime. For example, I have Jupiter in Scorpio in the third house of my natal horoscope. It’s not hard to work out from this (and Jupiter’s strong links to most of the planets in that horoscope!) that an intense preoccupation with gathering and sharing all kinds of information and placing it in contexts which expand one’s understanding of life’s deeper meanings, might be rather important to me…

The Jupiter cycle: unfolding in one lifetime

At 11-12, I passed the “Quali” (the long defunct Scottish entrance exam to determine one’s level of entry to secondary education). At 23-4, I completed a post-graduate Diploma in Education, having already been an adult education teacher for two years. At 35-6, I studied for and passed my first astrology qualification, the Certificate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (UK), prior to beginning a career as an astrologer.

 At 47-8, I began the Diploma in Psychological Astrology, studying with Liz Greene and the late Charles Harvey at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. In completing this course, I commuted by plane for three years, earning myself the nickname of “The Flying Scot”. The year after the 59-60 Jupiter Return,  I stepped into cyber-space via “Writing from the Twelfth House” my main blog. My first book, a research study called “Jupiter Meets Uranus”, was published the following year.

Perhaps this personal account will encourage you to track through a few of your Jupiter cycles, and see that there is indeed a thematic unfolding of a specific kind of experience…

Fate, free will…or what?

The question of what the balance is between fate and free will has preoccupied humans for millennia. It remains unresolved. However, as an astrologer it is important to have a view. Decades of astrological practice; much reading especially in recent years including what I can grasp of probability theory and chaos theory; my own efforts to become a more conscious person: these have all led me to the view (not original at all – many astrologers take this standpoint!) that there are certain givens in this life, as shown by the characters standing on a person’s life stage when the horoscope is drawn up. Those characters, the horoscope’s symbolic, archetypal patterns, are ours for life.

 However, the evidence of observation and experience appears to suggest this vital point: the more conscious we can become of what our motivations and drives are, and how they impact on our inner and external life, the wider becomes the range of possible avenues of expression to which we can have access in choosing how to make our particular life’s drama as positive and creative as possible. 

Bearing this in mind, let’s return to the Jupiter cycle and see how we might work creatively and consciously with its 11-12 year periods. 

Working with cycles

All life cycles, whether we at looking at a gnat, a human, or a galaxy, go through the same process: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new. So it is with the planetary cycles.

Think of the tiny monthly cycle of the Sun and Moon. The New Moon takes place in darkness. Only when that first magical waxing crescent appears after 2-3 days, does the energy of the cycle begin to build. After a week, first quarter, things are taking shape. At full moon, the cycle’s energy is in full light, at its most obvious. A week later, on the waning square, the Moon is shrinking, the month’s energy on the wane. Then the last, waning crescent precedes moondark, those 2-3 days in which the energy of the completed cycle sinks back into the Void, waiting for the energy of the next New Moon to arise.

Applying the same template to the 11-12 year cycle of Jupiter, it takes a year or so for the initial upsurge of desire for new expansive challenges to stabilise and take definite form.

Jupiter in action: a real-life example

 Let’s use the person with Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 9th House as our example. At the age of 23, off she goes to Australia, completes her Diploma, and obtains a good teaching job in Melbourne. She works there for a couple of years, then relocates to Sydney (first quarter phase, Jupiter now in Pisces) since she wants to take up sailing and she has a friend there who runs a sailing school.

 Three years later (full moon phase, Jupiter in Gemini) she agrees to take on a teaching job at the sailing school where she has been a student. Another three years go by, and she begins to become dissatisfied and critical (last quarter phase, Jupiter now in Virgo). She is becoming bogged down in admin and paperwork. Not her style! 

She puts less and less commitment into her job, and after over ten years in Australia, she has itchy feet again (moondark). Nearly twelve years after arriving, full of enthusiasm, she is off to work in the Greek Islands. She has fallen in love with a Greek Australian and decides to return with him to his home island of Rhodes. She is nearly thirty-six years old.A new Jupiter cycle is about to begin…

Working with our Jupiter cycles

I’ve always found that astrology students and clients are fascinated when you unfold their major cycles with them, as well as finding it helpful in understanding the unfolding pattern of their lives. The Jupiter cycle is a particularly easy one to which to connect. The rhythm of the cycle, looking back, can usually be tracked. In the last year or two before a new 11-12 year period begins, one can generally perceive a certain dissatisfaction, boredom, loss of any great interest, and desire for a new challenge in the sphere of life indicated by the sign and house placement of Jupiter natally. If Jupiter is a very strongly placed and emphasised ‘character on the stage’, the overall effect is of course amplified.

With Jupiter in Scorpio in the third house, I clearly recall my boredom, restlessness, and desire for a new educational project towards the end of my fourth Jupiter cycle when I was forty-six or forty-seven. Alexa, with her Jupiter in Cancer, bought a house at the start of the second Jupiter cycle when she was twenty-four, “… bigger (Jupiter) than we needed for just the two of us, so we could have space for lodgers.”

Are you a year or two into a new Jupiter cycle? Or three years into it? After five or six years, the cycle is at its Full Moon phase, its peak of energy. By nine years, impetus generally is on the wane, and restlessness setting in. By the Moondark phase of the cycle, it really feels like time for a new project, a new venture. But you know, if you are familiar with this cycle’s rhythm, that it will probably be another couple of years before the new idea has taken shape and translated itself into a fresh, exciting direction. 

One of the great gifts of astrological knowledge is the help it offers in setting our sails, metaphorically speaking, to the prevailing winds of our lives. It is useful to get to know your Jupiter cycle, in planning those times in life when your Spirit is calling you to open up your life to new experience. I do hope this introductory article has given you some useful food for reflection – and impetus to action!

Part Two: Jupiter in Leo.

It would be helpful in the meantime if any readers feel like sharing their experiences of Jupiter cycles. In this way, we all expand our understanding…Thanks!

Zodiac

Zodiac

2000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

A Scorpio asks: ” How do I help my deepening spiritual life along?”

Allegra’s is a very reflective, intense, sensitive and profound question to which I am not sure I can do justice in this context. However, I will try! If any readers are able or willing to add to my words in a way they think will be encouraging to Allegra (not her real name) , they are most welcome to do so via a comment.

“….I was hoping you could answer a few questions for me. I am finally making great strides in my spiritual walk and I need some direction. First, I’ve been meditating, praying and consciously accepting positive energy.  I once struggled with the idea of controlling my world, and now I am letting the universe flow through me. Lately, since I’ve been listening to myself and able to receive energy I’ve been experiencing very intense, very dense spiritual downloads. They come in the form of words, visions, dreams and feelings.  Problems I’ve been trying to solve and sort out for years are so clear suddenly.  I love this new connection I’m experiencing, but I would like to continue to grow it and keep receiving these solutions, and information and soothing comforting energy.

Any suggestions?  The visions are vivid and so profound and I’ve noticed they often happen when I’m either in the dark, or in warm water.  I’m an 11/06/1981 scorpio.

Any wisdom you could share with me would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to learn how to live in unison with this great power and use it wisely and respectfully…”

Allegra- Sunrise Horoscope

Allegra- Sunrise Horoscope

Dear Allegra

it is perhaps appropriate – given your deep, dark Scorpio Sun –  that I too am in the dark: in the sense that I do not know you, have no idea how much if any astrology you know beyond the popular, limited Sun Sign astrology, and do not have your birth time or place. However, I have put up a horoscope for you for Sunrise on your day of birth. This puts all the other nine planetary characters on the stage with the Sun, giving me a reasonable idea of which ones are to the fore on the stage of your life at present.

Given that this is a public reply, and that I do not do detailed horoscope readings on my blog, I am focusing purely on those characters. And there is plenty to focus on!

It will help you to follow my analysis if you think of the planets in the heavens at the moment as your play’s Directors. The main Director in your case at this time is Neptune, planet of spiritual longing and very often, psychic sensitivity: openness to those levels of Reality which the reductionists tell us do not exist – but which many of us have experienced over millennia and continue to do so to this day. The sensitivity, openness and compassion which Neptune brings is both a great gift and somewhat of a burden. Sensitivity needs nurturing, care and protection from too much harshness and stress if Neptune’s gifts are gradually to be fully realised

There is a very gifted, complex pattern in your horoscope involving Pluto, planet of power, Jupiter, planet of higher learning and Mercury, planet of information-gathering and communication. All these together in the sign of Libra make you a powerful teacher, traveller, communicator and writer in the pursuit of balance and justice. They are all positively linked with your Moon, planet of emotional receptivity and of the great Feminine principle in all its aspects.The Moon’s placing in the compassionate and empathic sign of Pisces naturally aligns with the planet Neptune, the main Director of your life’s play at this time. 

For the last few years, Neptune has been gradually, continuously whispering to those characters that a more spiritual direction is what your deeper Self requires. This kind of call can be quite disruptive to one’s ‘ordinary’ life, but has a way of being insistent in altering one’s direction, over time. From the Spring of 2011, I would imagine Neptune’s influence has gradually become stronger, added to practical and realistic Saturn’s challenge to your Sun in Scorpio, especially in the autumn and winter of 2013, to seriously re-define your life. 

So – everything you describe in your message to me makes sense, fits where your deeper Self needs to be and what that Self wishes to explore and develop at this time. All I really need to do is affirm that you are already doing what YOU need to do! Your respect for the ‘great power’ you describe is evident in the way you have written about your current experiences. With time, wisdom in the way in which you are meant to use it will open up. Be patient! The deeper Self usually has a different timescale and a slower rate of process than our impatient Ego would wish….

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions: 

Make sure to develop a regular and steady spiritual practice, centred round meditation, contemplation, prayer and reading of material which inspires and supports you. Books like Jack Kornfields After the ecstasy, the laundry spoke to me very powerfully at a time of intense spiritual journeying. Try to take ‘time out’ for this practice each day if you can.

Keep a journal, make art, music – use your creative gifts to work with the powerful process you describe. Write out your dreams and visions if it feels right to do so. If you do this consistently you will see an unfolding developmental thread when you look back which may not be obvious at the time of writing. 

If you can find a spiritual companion to meet with regularly, someone with whom you can discuss your deep experiences, who has been through their own profound journey to the Underworld and back and who can help you gradually find your new direction, that would be helpful. I had such a person for a long time and now have a ‘spiritual friend’ with whom to share inner experiences that many people do not have and most people do not wish to know about – I find it very helpful!

And finally, but most important of all: trust the Unseen to guide you on your path.

I do hope what I have written helps you – and any other spiritual seekers along the way who may read this post. 

Blessings

Anne

Zodiac

Zodiac

1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page