Category Archives: Jupiter and its Cycles (5 articles)

As Sun and Jupiter meet in Scorpio: a tale of darkness – and healing powers arising

The Harvey Weinstein scandal broke as Jupiter was moving into Scorpio on 10th October 2017, triggering a tsunami of allegations and revelations of sexual misconduct from harassment to rape across social media. The #metoo movement began (i) on social media after a call to action by the actor Alyssa Milano, one of Weinstein’s most vocal critics.

Facebook said that within 24 hours, 4.7 million people around the world – men as well as women – engaged in the #MeToo conversation, with over 12m posts, comments, and reactions. The issue has rapidly become about much more than Harvey Weinstein. It is about  “…the ubiquity of sexual assault…” in the words of UK’s Guardian newspaper columnist, Suzanne Moore.

I contributed a couple of my own stories to the thread which developed on astrologer Leah Whitehorse’s Facebook Page, when she bravely came out and told a very frightening story of her own in which, fortunately, thanks to her level head, she was not physically harmed. When I was much younger than I am now,  on two occasions, in the cinema and then on the street in broad daylight, I hit two different men who tried to assault me.

They were so astonished at this that the first one got up and left the cinema, and the second one just stood there, his jaw having (metaphorically) hit the floor in utter shock. I realised afterwards that this had been a risky strategy. But I do have an aggressive streak if unfairly treated, and there were other people around.

The tale I am about to tell, however, could have had a very different outcome…a combination of progressed Mercury currently stationing on my third house Jupiter, and an impending Jupiter Return next year, has made me more inclined than usual to descend to Scorpio’s dark realms – as anyone perusing my current reading material would realise! But the outpouring evoked by  #MeToo has dredged up from the depths of memory an episode from my younger years which still chills me to recall.

It was mid-June, 1974, Sunday evening, around 7 pm. It had been a day for chores. I was strolling along with my washing to the launderette on the London Road in Bath, the very place where, not long before – as a young Marxist unbeliever in anything mystical or spiritual ( or so I thought then) – I had had an encounter with an astrologer which was to change my life.

A young man around my own age passed me in the street. I paid him no attention. Then I heard a voice, and turned around.

“I am so lonely”, the young man said. “If someone doesn’t talk to me, I’ll go crazy.”

As a woman, I’d always been aware of the need to protect myself, considered myself streetwise. Normally I would NEVER respond to a strange man addressing me in public like that. But there was something about the pleading, the desperation in his eyes I simply could not ignore.

“OK”, I said.” I’m heading across the road to do my laundry. You can sit there with me and chat for a bit.” He appeared grateful to the point of tears.

Almost an hour later, he had told me his story: very deprived childhood, children’s home, ran away at 16, joined a circus, worked there, travelling a great deal, for years. Fell into bad company. Drugs and alcohol, petty crime. Unemployed, on the streets. Hit rock bottom. Then found Jesus. Now saved.

“Jesus loves you,” he kept saying. “Jesus saved me too.”

To me, he didn’t look very Saved, and I was beginning to wonder what to do next. I didn’t want him to know that I lived nearby. “D’you fancy a pint?” I said. “There’s a nice pub just up the road.” Safety in numbers, perhaps. He was delighted, and off we set, walking slowly whilst he talked some more. I hadn’t asked his name, nor told him mine. It was cold, rainy, no-one about.

Suddenly, before I could register what was happening, he grabbed me, dragging me into a dark alley running off the main pavement. He pinned me to the wall. I went cold. Fortunately that’s what I do if I’m ever in a crisis. I didn’t scream, didn’t struggle. Instead, I put my arms up behind him, and started gently stroking his back, saying quietly:

“You don’t need to do this, you’re just going to scare me. We still have lots to say to each other. Please just let me go…” I repeated this a couple of times more, and his hands, which had been on my throat, dropped to his sides.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” he kept repeating tearfully. “I don’t know what came over me…”

“It’s ok”, I said calmly, whilst mentally calculating what the hell to do next. “You’re just tired. Let’s go and have that pint.”

As we continued our walk to the pub, and he continued to talk, I worked out a plan. I’d get our drinks, then tell him I always called my parents on a Sunday night; would he mind looking after my washing whilst I nipped out and made a quick call? Then I’d phone my friends Sue and Hugh who lived in the next street to the pub, and hope like hell they were at home.

The plan worked, and my friends were in – I almost cried with sheer relief to hear Hugh’s voice.  “Get round to the pub right away, it’s an emergency – will fill you in later. When you see me with a dishevelled-looking young guy, look very surprised and ask what was I doing drinking the night before going back to work. Ok?”

I pretended to be just as surprised as they were. My guest looked most uncomfortable, excused himself to go to the toilet, and disappeared. Sue and Hugh escorted me home to my flat just across the road, offering to stay the night, which I declined. Security was good in the flat, and I would call them if anything untoward occurred.

Having slept pretty fitfully, I turned on the radio at 7am as usual, to help me surface and get ready for work. The first item on the news was this: in the early hours of the morning, a young woman had been murdered in Bristol. They gave a description of the man they wished to interview in connection with the incident. It fitted my last evening’s companion exactly.

By this time, I was shaking so hard I could barely get myself to the college in which I was teaching English at the time. I told the Principal, who gave me a severe dressing-down for my folly – as he saw it. We then called the police, and I gave a statement. But they never contacted me again. Although I listened intently to the news for many weeks afterwards, to the best of my knowledge the man who murdered that poor young woman, was never found.

16 June 1974

Anne W: 16 June 1974. Progressed Outer, Natal Inner wheel ( click to enlarge)

This week is the first time I have ever looked at the astrology of that fateful Sunday. I remain convinced that if I hadn’t somehow kept my cool and reacted as I did, I would have been the one who died. It is an extremely uncomfortable feeling to be grateful for your own life, knowing that the way you reacted may well have paved the way for someone else’s death…

The astrology, I think, is very graphic both for the darkness and dangerous challenge of the situation and for the ‘healing powers’ which meant that I survived. I’ve only put up the progressions with my natal horoscope, because although I’m pretty sure it was mid-June, it may have been mid-May which would have altered the transits but not the progressions  – apart from the Progressed Moon by about one degree.

Clearly, with the Progressed Moon on the Mercury/SaturnPluto midpoint, I was in for some potent, dark,  potentially life-changing encounters – you can see the potential peril in those significators. However, years later when I knew some astrology I truly thanked my natal Mercury SaturnPluto conjunction. If anything gives you the tough-mindedness coolly to survive most of what life chucks at you, that line-up does!

But the links with natal third house Jupiter in Scorpio tell a very different story. The first house Sun/Venus conjunction makes an emotionally supportive sextile to eleventh house Mars in Cancer, and they all together form a Minor Grand Trine with Jupiter. In the wonderful words of the German poet Holderlin, no stranger to dark experiences himself:

“…Where there is darkness, the healing powers also rise…”.

 I was probably foolish that day in the kindness I offered to an unknown, troubled stranger. It may nearly have cost me my life. But I do believe, looking at the astrology, that my protective angels were watching over me in that encounter. They certainly manifested that day in the shape of my good friends. I have long lost touch with them, but I will never forget them.

___________

Endnotes:

(i) from  Lisa Meyerson on Leah Whitehorse’s Facebook Share of  the above post yesterday 26.10.17: “This is great. I have one correction, if you don’t mind. The #metoo campaign was originally started by a woman named Tarana Burke:https://www.democracynow.org/…/meet_tarana_burke_the…

 

 

Zodiac

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

1550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The attraction of new horizons…what is the Jupiter Cycle?

Optimistic, expansive and meaning-seeking Jupiter has been in the sign of Virgo since 11th August 2015, driving us all crazy ( well, me, anyway…!) with its cheerfully relentless insistence on work, work, work, and detail, detail, more detail.. . I jest, but only slightly….  Excitement is however, already building in anticipation for Jupiter’s shift into Libra on 9th September 2016, where he will remain until 10th October 2017; try googling ‘Jupiter’s shift into Libra’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Nearer the time, there will be torrents of words offered across the web regarding what this shift is likely to bring for all of us in general, but folks with the Sun and other planets in Libra in particular. However, for today I want to concentrate on  Jupiter’s 11-12 year cycle.

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?

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!

Zodiac

Zodiac

2000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

Saturn in Sagittarius: the Joyful Child grows up

Saturn is settling down for his journey through the exuberant, joyful sign of Sagittarius for the next two years or so. Mars is currently conjunct Jupiter in Virgo (in my First House) as I  reflect on the importance of Jupiter’s natural, spontaneous exuberance being modified and curbed by Saturn’s practicality and realism if we want to generate anything lasting in our lives. This reflection has made me think of  the importance of retaining the capacity for simple joy, as Life tosses its inevitable challenges our way.

Beautiful Saturn

Beautiful Saturn image

In honouring both Jupiter and Saturn, then, let us first celebrate the spontaneous, resilient, Joyful Child within all of us, explore how it fares as we mature. If we are lucky, this part manages to survive the batterings, brutalities and tragedies of existence,  continuing to provide inspiration and faith that life is worth living.

Who, exactly, is this Child? The basic stuff of which s/he is made is the element of fire, that which the gods prized so much they wanted to keep to themselves. But Prometheus stole some, hidden in a fennel stalk, and gave it to us. He was savagely punished for his misdemeanour – but ever since, we humans have had at least one chip of that magical, divine substance lodged in us. Everyone has some, some people have too little, others have too much.

What is it? It’s the spark of divine light, that which tells us we are special and immortal, that  we’re here for a reason, that our lives have a purpose, that we have a future worth seeking out. It fuels wonder, injects the passion of inquiry into mere curiosity, causes learning and exploration to be a joyful end in themselves. It gives the capacity to look out at the world with a fresh set of eyes, take pleasure at what’s there because it’s new, exciting. It brings spontaneity and the gift of laughter. It fuels play, which is at the core of a response to life which is fundamentally creative and imaginative.

Bountiful Jupiter

Bountiful Jupiter

It is highly protective and supportive of life, especially when the going is rough, giving the hope that things will get better. It enables tough times to be survived through the unquenchable belief that suffering may be awful, and protracted – but it means something; it is not just the random brutality of quixotic gods, or fate.It brings the capacity in extremis to laugh at the sheer absurdity of life, and oneself – a capacity which can drag one out from under the worst of times for just long enough to reaffirm that life, despite everything, is worth living.

The precious creature formed from such magical substance never grows up in the sense of assuming worldly responsibilities, and never gives up on life’s possibilities and delights. It cannot be ordered forth – just appears, then disappears : will o’the wisp. Readers will recognise the Sagittarius/Gemini polarity here!

Leaving the Otherworld

The advance through adulthood as the Saturn seven-year cycle unfolds, alters one’s perception of what it is to be young. Having been scarred by life as we all are, watching a pre-school child absorbed in play is delightful, but also poignant. Delightful because it  demonstrates clearly that there is another world than the one we usually inhabit  which is full of  Saturn’s deadlines, duties and demands.

This Otherworld is full of goblins and fire engines, magic bubbles and imaginary friends, bright green tigers who speak, and amenable adults happy to give you the keys to the scary castle, where you can spend days of adventure without anyone telling you that it’s impossible for giants to keep a special pocket full of ice cream that never melts, just waiting for you to come and eat it.

It’s poignant because we  wonder, looking at this absorbed child, how s/he will cope with an adult world whose entry tariff is extracted from the struggle between the fantasy world of childhood where anything is possible, and the reality testing which takes place as we grow and confront the limits which life sets for us.

The seven-year stages of the Saturn cycle offer a helpful containing context within which to explore how the Joyful Child within us fares as life’s journey unfolds. There is a case to be made for not starting children at school until the first square of the cycle. Five or six, the common age, seems too early to remove children from the Otherworld of play and unbounded imagination. Shakespeare vividly expressed the average child’s response to being dragged from the Otherworld :

“And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel,

And shining morning face, creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school.”   (i)

If we did start children at the later age of seven or eight, socially disruptive though that would be in many ways, perhaps it would give more time for the Joyful Child’s domain to become established. Thus  it might be easier for the growing person to retain contact with the Otherworld as a source of inspiration throughout life.

Essentially what happens from the time of starting school through to the first Saturn square, as we step across the boundary of family, is that the Joyful Child begins to hide, its energy becoming redirected, as we become more aware of ourselves in relation to what the outer world expects. By and large, that outer world is more interested in us being able to tie our shoelaces, read, tell the time, and be truthful, than it is in knowing what a wonderful chat we had in Chinese last night with the  bright green tiger who sleeps under our bed.

  Early adulthood

Saturn Cycle

Saturn Cycle

The first Saturn opposition at 14/ 15 is the point where we take bigger steps out of family, begin to challenge parental authority,  and move towards greater identification with the peer group.The need to play and daydream which is fundamental to the Joyful Child’s world, and the creative energy fuelling these activities, gets sublimated further at this point. It channels into the pursuit of achievement of an academic or vocational nature, and exploration of the  exciting, troubling world of relationship and emerging sexuality  as bodily changes propel the young person towards physical adulthood.

The Joyful Child’s impetus towards discovery and exploration of the new, engages in a complex dance with the tough Saturnian realities also emerging.Too much time spent playing, not enough on taking responsibility, can have a high emotional cost, eg exam failure or unwanted pregnancy. 

The waning square at 21/2  brings with it the world’s expectation that we should begin to assume adult responsibility, get a job if we’ve been studying for years, get serious. Many people marry or enter into long-term partnerships at this stage, perhaps out of unconscious fear of facing the adult world and its responsibilities alone. I have gained the impression from my varied professional work with people of differing ages over a  long period of time, that part of the vulnerability of this life stage comes from a realisation that childhood is, indeed, over.

Recently I came across a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings from a column I wrote in my early twenties. In it was a piece called “Thoughts on Childhood” which supports the view  just expressed :

“ I am close enough to childhood for my memories still to be clear and reasonably untainted by the rosy hues of nostalgia, although I realise now that as soon as we have ceased to be children, the world of childhood becomes a closed world to us, one which we can never recapture except through flashes of memory and watching our own children grow up. As adults, no matter how hard we wish to recapture the feeling of childhood, we must always remain ‘ watchers by the threshold.’ ”   (ii)

This is a critical age, in terms of the emerging individual’s capacity to retain that  spark of vital creative energy which ensures that  engaging with the world as it is does not mean stifling the Joyful Child, who  has been curbed by now, and knows that much of the time it’s not safe to be too overt. But it is important that the re-channelled  energy continues to flow.

It can express itself in passionate commitment to a career, as opposed to  working purely to provide life’s necessities. It can manifest through joy in good friends, or absorbing hobbies and interests outwith work.For some people, early parenthood brings, along with responsibility, the opportunity to view the world again through the eyes of their growing children.

There is also a direct route for expression through the sheer animal vitality of youth, which all by itself can make life feel worth living. I recall a middle-aged male friend of mine’s recent comment on seeing a young man running effortlessly up several flights of stairs recently, not because he had to,  just because he could. “ I can’t do that any more – my back’s too bad !”  remarked my friend. “It made me feel wistful, reminded me of the youthful grace and energy  which I once had.”

Point of entry

From the Saturn return at 28-30 onwards, the major underlying task changes: from discovering the overall shape of who you are in relation to your own life, to beginning to use the platform you have built as support in offering your unique contribution to the wider world. By this stage, the balance achieved between necessary realism and the joyous, inspirational, creative aspects of life is crucial to how the next 14/15 years unfold. The poet Dylan Thomas senses and honours the presence of the child he was,  in his marvellous “ Poem in October” written on his thirtieth birthday:

“ And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s forgotten mornings……where a boy…..whispered the truth of his joy

To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.”

In the poem’s last verse, he writes 

“And the true

Joy of the long dead child sang burning

In the sun.” (iii)

For Dylan Thomas, as for many poets and even more of us ordinary citizens, being in nature can powerfully evoke that within us which never ages, which rejoices in being alive, and is powerfully connected to the endless cycle of birth, maturation, decline, death and return.

The thirties and forties are decades where a major challenge lies in the grinding process of reality testing our hopes, wishes, dreams and ambitions against the world as it is. Most of us eventually get to the Saturn opposition of the mid-forties: we are still here,  we may still be functioning tolerably well, but we’re not young any more.

Midlife

From the mid-forties on, we only have to look in the mirror, or realise that our idea of a good Friday night  is increasingly of going to bed early, not with a hot lover,  but with a good  book, to be aware of the relentless advance of mortality. It becomes harder at this stage for most people to keep in touch with the Joyful Child, keep its energies flowing. For many people,  brutalities of  an environmental, political, social or personal nature have borne down so hard that the vital spark of life borne by the Joyful Child can now fuel only the dogged survival instinct.

I have found that one of the compensations of middle age is deeply paradoxical, and was first alerted to it a number of years ago by a comment made by my late mother-in-law, then approaching eighty.The way she dealt with an old age full of physical infirmity was inspiring. She had a lively sense of fun and humour, maintained great interest in the wider world as well as that of her own family and friends, and kept up a prodigious correspondence right up to the end of her life. The Joyful Child in her was alive right to the end, sustained in her case by a strong, ecumenical religious faith.

“ You know”, she said,“occasionally when I’m not thinking about anything in particular, I catch sight of my face in the mirror and get an awful shock. I see an old woman’s face looking out at me – but inside I don’t feel old at all – I feel just the same as I did when I was young.”

The paradox is this.The body ages to the point where you are faced with increasing physical evidence of the passage of time; but an opportunity can also slowly arise to perceive, with a clarity not possible in youth, that this ageing body has been carrying something else through life which is different, ageless, woven with the physical – that spark of immortality which comes in sometime before birth, flying free at physical death. Thus, as mortality’s approach via Saturn becomes more and more difficult to ignore, a major compensation can be offered via Jupiter:  by that  which is clearly immortal becoming more and more evident by contrast. 

In this way, the great archetypes symbolised by astrological Jupiter and Saturn can achieve balance as ordinary human life reaches its conclusion.

_________________

Endnotes:

(i)  “As You  Like It ”: (1599) act 2, sc 7, l 139, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1999 Edition, p 658, par 26

(ii)  “Thoughts on Childhood” from Personally Speaking column, Stornoway Gazette, September 1970

(iii) “ Poem in October “ from Dylan Thomas Collected Poems 1934-52, Aldine Press, 1972 Edition, pp 96-7

_________________

Zodiac

2,200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

 

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”.

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1850 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

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Here is the third article in the Jupiter series: 

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

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