Jupiter through Scorpio: an old cycle ends, a new one begins…

Anyone feeling restless, dissatisfied, antsy, looking for a new goal, ready for a new adventure? If you are, it could be that you are ending an 11-12 year phase which began the last time Jupiter was in Scorpio. If you are around 23/4 years old, or 35/6, or 47/8, 0r 59/60, or 71/2, or 83/4 – it’s you I am talking about. You were born with Jupiter in Scorpio – as I was – and you need a new project. 

However – Jupiter, having gone retrograde early in March 2018, is now in mid-Scorpio again, not due to go direct until early in July. He will not emerge from Scorpio’s deep, dark waters until early November’s entry into Sagittarius. This radical shift from water to fire should bring energy and inspiration to the beginning of a new 11-12 year Jupiter cycle. Personally, despite much learning from deep ponderings prompted by Jupiter’s return to my Scorpio third house, I can hardly wait for that new project to take form. As it will…but not yet…



In the meantime, a number of readers have in recent times asked me to write about the Jupiter Cycle. For new readers and old friends alike, here are my thoughts.

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. This is known as 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. 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!

 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 first blog, now a well-stocked, varied archive of articles on the broad theme of  “…mystery, meaning, pattern and purpose…”. My first book, a research study called “Jupiter Meets Uranus”, now e-published as a FREE download, was published the following year. And so on…

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?

Moirai - the Three Fates

Moirai – the Three Fates

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 consider 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 year or so 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!

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!



2100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

31 responses to “Jupiter through Scorpio: an old cycle ends, a new one begins…

  1. Oh yes, my Jupiter cycle is 3 years to completion and boredom is already there…but new horizon as well!!! I am prepared and ready for adventure ! Thank you !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – that sounds amazing. 2020 is such a significant year…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Via Facebook:
    Margo Cline Wonderful article! I am experiencing both my Saturn and Jupiter return at the moment. My Jupiter is in my 2nd house at 29 Scorpio. Looking forward to new horizons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On their way for sure, Margo!


  5. Via Facebook:
    Margo Cline I have experienced the sense of boredom or craving for something new like you said. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You don’t sound any more patient than I am, Margo!


  7. Via Facebook:
    Peggy Stoy:
    I am a Sag rising with Jupiter in the first and that is me all the time! My solar return on the 14 th has a Sag ascendant and then next year I have my Jupiter return! I am thinking positive…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Says it all, Peggy! You don’t need anyone to tell you about Jupiter…


  9. Via Facebook:
    Jan Martin:
    Jupiter at 26 Scorpio in the 11th. At age 23 I was a founding member of a ground-breaking women’s art group. At age 35 I decided I “needed” to get married before I turned 37 (made it by 11 days!). At 47, I was divorced, in a new job and a new relationship.
    I can’t even remember what happened when I was 60, but this current Jupiter return has me antsy, dissatisfied and hungering for something different. I need a new group!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What brilliantly illustrative feedback, Jan! Thanks.


  11. Via Facebook:
    Mara Owens:
    With a Natal Jup mid 1H Aries opp Neptune in Square to my Sun, it’s Return brings confusion rather than clarity and Jupiter’s cycle through Scorpio has regularly expanded calamities occurring..


  12. Yes, Mara, It’s a mistake to think that Jupiter inevitably brings forward moving brightness and inspiration. My recent long article in the Mountain Astrologer about Jupiter in Scorpio makes that point very clearly. I am certainly not finding my current Jupiter Return comfortable. But the point with all these challenges is – if possible – to learn something that will be useful in the new cycle arising.


  13. Via Facebook:
    Rachel Carraher:
    My partner is having his Jupiter return this year . Jupiter in Scorpio in 3rd house at 23 degrees, haven’t noticed anything yet ….but still have till November . Fingers crossed that things change soon…


  14. Well, Rachel, when a new cycle begins it can take a while for its shape to become clear…I have a very similar Jupiter placing to your partner, and in the past it’s needed the impetus of Jupiter in Sag to get things going. It might be worth exploring with him what took shape after the last one 11/12 years ago…


  15. Via Facebook:
    Mary Dusina:
    Jupiter in Scorpio
    Bathing my Stellium in Zeus star dust!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love this feedback, Mary!


  17. hi, sun, moon venus in sagittarius with jupiter in balance in XII house. Until now each cycle has represented a stage in the spiritual / astrological research …. now new cycle just begun but I feel I no longer have “spiritual questions” to be solved. I have no idea what direction Jupiter will take now. I feel a strong need for a new goal but … nothing on the horizon. Thanks for the nice article.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Via Facebook:
    Helen Tremeer:
    Thank you for your excellent and thought-provoking article! I will need to ponder some more before I reply…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks, Helen. Take your time…


  20. Via Facebook:
    Helen Tremeer …Pondering your question about Jupiter returns in my own life (my own Jupiter is in Scorpio – 59-year return in October, 2018 – he sits in my natal 9th, ruling the 10th and 11th and is apex of a T-square from Chiron rising in Aquarius and my chart ruler, Uranus in Leo):

    Looking back through the various Jupiter returns of my life I’m struck by a massive awareness of the death which precedes new life (my own mother was hospitalised for a month before my birth, which also seems telling in that respect – we both survived).

    It’s been a journey of letting go of beliefs, working through wounds and relationship endings. I felt the transition from primary to secondary (11-12 years) schooling keenly, becoming separated from my best friend in the process; at 23 I was pregnant with my first child and devouring books on theology recommended by a friend from church (a big shift in my thinking about God, with my mother’s response to my pregnancy being, ‘I thought you’d be the ‘sensible one’ and not have any!’); at 35 I was pregnant with my third child (a long and arduous labour was to come) and processing my fear of death in psychotherapy with an astrologer (who I studied under for several years); at 47 I was separating from my second husband and trying to make sense of the ‘knowing’ that it was time; at 58 (just now), I passed through my second Saturn return (December last) during a course of ‘therapeutic shamanism’ that was about stepping into Adulthood (we had our initiation weekend at the beginning of June)! You couldn’t make it up! I’m feeling this retrograde passage very keenly – frustration, deep processing, ‘dark-night-of-the-soul’ – and I’m in therapy again!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hello Helen,
    well, that reply was surely worth waiting for. Thanks so much for this brilliantly illustrative feedback…your openness has added to our understanding of how this cycle works…it also illustrates how, the stronger the planet is (and Jupiter is a very strong signature in your case) the more powerfully you can see its symbolic action as life unfolds…


  22. Via Facebook:
    Amelia Galabova:
    After a terrible pregnancy loss, we finally welcomed a healthy baby girl during my Jupiter return. Her and I share Jupiter in Virgo at almost the same degree because of this! Shortly after, We found out we we’re blessed with twins all while Jupiter completed its return. In my 5th house of course! Jupiter is magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Delighted to hear this, Amelia!


  24. Via Facebook:
    Susan Wilkens:
    I’m a Saturn girl myself 😮. Jupiter return? Wait — when? I missed it . . . 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Oh well, Susan…Saturn must have sat on Jupiter’s head…


  26. Via Facebook:
    Leslie Rush:
    Beginning a possible new career at 59

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Leslie, the 59/60 Return is particularly potent since it is also the time of the second Saturn Return. What a great time to begin a new career, drawing on all the wisdom, experience and learning you have accumulated up until now. Best wishes!


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