Born on the cusp? No such thing!

“What does it mean if I’m born on the cusp?” This is one of the the most frequent questions asked of astrologers. So – I thought I’d revisit it for the benefit of new readers – with thanks to Rian, who asked the original question.

“Could you talk a little bit about cusps? How much does a person with their sun at 29.5 degrees take on the next sign? Or is it black and white. I think it might be a fade-out/ fade-in, but I’ve never found anything written about this. Thank you.”

Anne’s Answer: I’m glad you asked this question. It’s one astrologers are asked A LOT ! I’ll answer it in two stages.

Firstly, let’s imagine someone out there was due to give birth mid to late June 2013 in Glasgow, UK, and was wondering whether their baby would have the Sun in Gemini or Cancer.

At midnight GMT on 21st June (1.00 am UK summer time) that year, the Sun was at the very end of  Gemini:29 degrees 48 minutes. By midnight GMT on 22nd June (1.00 am UK summer time), the Sun had moved to the next sign and occupied the very beginning of Cancer: 0 degrees 45 minutes. Thus our imaginary child arriving on 21st June 2013 some time after midnight GMT  in Glasgow,  UK would have been in popular terms, ‘born on the cusp’.

However, as anyone who takes their interest in astrology ‘beyond the Sun Signs’ will very quickly realise, there is a lot more to astrology than its popular Sun Sign face would suggest. With an accurately calculated horoscope which uses the date, place and vital TIME of birth, an astrologer (or, these days, anyone with access to a reasonable computer programme ) can work out to the minute where the Sun is on that child’s birthday.

To illustrate this, look at the image below. (click on it to enlarge). Our imaginary cusp Baby X, born in Glasgow UK at 6.00 am British Summer Time(5.00 am GMT) on Friday 21st June 2013, has the Sun in Gemini – at 29 degrees 59 minutes. If this child had been born only five minutes later, however, he/she would have the Sun in Cancer – at 0 degrees 00 minutes.

Thus, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as ‘born on the cusp’. Our Baby X, horoscope accurately calculated,  is either – in Sun Sign terms – a Gemini or a Cancer.

baby-x-uk

baby-x-uk

However, Rian, your guess was quite correct. Someone born with the Sun at the very beginning of the 30 degrees of any zodiac sign has a stronger, more vivid and obvious  ‘charge’ of the sign’s energy than someone born at the very end.

Imagine you are standing in a favourite room which you have occupied for a long time. You are becoming a little bored, jaded with what that room may have to offer. Suddenly, a door you’d never noticed before opens slightly. A shaft of new light streams through from another room. You step forward, intrigued. Could this be a new adventure? Or, to conclude our analogy: the Sun in fickle, restless Gemini is becoming stale – the prospect of entry into a journey through another sign, watery mysterious Cancer, beckons….

The second stage of my answer, though, brings in a little of the more complex picture which more in-depth astrology has to offer.

Take another look at Baby X’s horoscope, featured above. (click on it to enlarge)

Even those of you with very little knowledge of astrology should be able to imagine the 360 degree zodiac circle before you as a stage. Stand in the centre, and look around the circle.

You will see various symbols, representing the planets. Humans have been standing on Earth, looking out into the night sky, plotting the planets’ positions against an imaginary 360 degree great circle, the zodiac, for more than six thousand years. That view has never changed, despite our knowledge for several centuries that the Sun, not Earth, is the centre of our solar system. We still look out from the same Earth to the same  celestial view.

On the left of the circle, just above and below the horizontal black line,  fall the sectors of Gemini and Cancer. Our Baby X may be a Sun Gemini – only just! – but very close to that Sun is Jupiter (desire to connect to the Big Picture)   and not far away is Mars (action). This gives our Baby X a very strong emphasis on the Gemini theme.

However the horizontal black line is his/her Ascendant or Rising Sign, revealing the way s/he appears to the world in general. This is in the sign of Cancer. Just below this point, squashed together on 22 degrees of Cancer, are Venus (urge to relate) and Mercury (drive toward communication, expression). Thus Baby X has five out of the ten planets (or characters on the stage), and Rising Sign, occupying only two of the twelve signs of the zodiac.

This places a very strong emphasis on the signs of Gemini and Cancer, rational air and emotional water. Thus, at a very simple level – full interpretation has to take all the characters, their locations and interactions on the zodiac stage into account – Baby X will have the gifts and pains of that classic Shakespearian clash between reason and passion, to wrestle with and reconcile, be driven by–  for as long as  s/he lives.

A long answer for a short question! But I do hope it sheds some light – and reveals in the process a deeper astrology ‘beyond the Sun Signs’. Do let me know what you think!

And you new visitors and Followers out there. Drop by with your observations….. and, of course,  your Questions….

Zodiac

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

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

Jupiter in Scorpio: some musings on astrology’s scary delights…

One scary delight of being an astrologer is the opportunity offered to see one’s own transits and progressions shaping up. Opportunities for second guessing the Universe’s intentions are ever present. This can get tiring…

I clearly recall a day in November 1998, the day I realised, as opposed to having merely noted, that Neptune would enter Aquarius at the end of the month – thereby commencing a long series of oppositions to my five twelfth house Leo planets (or six by equal house, take your pick…) which would not complete until Neptune entered Pisces in 2011/2012.

I reacted by doing what I suspect many enlightened people do when offered useful warning of serious upcoming challenges: yelled ‘waaah!!’ to myself, pulled a metaphorical duvet over my head (so far, so Neptunian…) and carried on regardless.

It took from 2001-2008 to recover from the prolonged family crisis and energy burnout which followed. I did not return to work until 2012. However, all clouds do indeed have their silver lining: I wrote two books whilst lying on the sofa with the laptop, caught up on 30 years’reading, and got onto the web in 2008 via my first blog “Writing from the Twelfth House”. I also learned something absolutely essential for persons with an overload of Leo: the world – somehow–  could manage to cope wonderfully well in my absence.

This year 2018 finds me once again in an especially interesting, possibly scary place: progressed ruling planet Mercury at 21 Scorpio, having stationed on natal third house Jupiter at 20 Scorpio, turned retrograde at the end of January. For the rest of my life. It’s proving an interesting Jupiter Return – not yet completed… 

I’ve been trying to approach the whole issue rather more intelligently this time than I did when Neptune was sending a mini tidal wave my way. One of the things which has arisen is an inclination to delve back into that third house Jupiter in Scorpio territory which has been the core landscape of my whole life since very early childhood.

The mystery of where we came from, where we go when we leave this world,  and what the Big Picture may be, has always preoccupied me to a far greater degree than the majority of more sensible people, most of whom prefer to dwell on more concrete and less threatening matters. Grappling with that mystery led me eventually to astrology.

On a recent visit to London, whilst visiting the iconic Watkins bookshop, I chanced upon a deeply thought-provoking book re-appraising that vast territory, the Super Natural (as they title it), by writer Whitley Strieber and professor of religion Jeffrey J. Kripal from which the following quote is taken:

“…The more deeply we plumb the psyche, the deeper the well appears to go. Somewhere down in there, it would appear that there is a place where the line between the physical and nonphysical blurs, where imagination and reality somehow converge, and events unfold that are not yet understood at all. It is the realm of Jeff’s ‘imaginal’, where the electrons of thoughts somehow converge into the molecules of things. But how? The mind knows, but not, perhaps, in ways that it can articulate…(i)…”

It struck me immediately on reading this passage that six thousand year old astrology is the language which has always been available to us for both exploring and articulating the imaginal realm as well as the realm of the practical and the everyday.

I am most grateful, however, to the insights which have arisen from what little I understand of quantum physics. As mentioned in my recent Progressions article in the UK’s Astrological Journal, modern science has demonstrated that we live, move and have our being as part of a vast energy field which dances between order and chaos, in invisible patterns which would appear to hold 4 % matter, 23 % dark matter, and 73 % dark energy together in a vast cosmic web.

With  Mercury by progression stationed retrograde on third house Jupiter in Scorpio, I can feel my mind being drawn back into re-reading and re-evaluating my relationship to myth, religion, symbolism, contemporary science, the Super Natural as termed by Streiber and Kripal, Jungian psychology and of course astrology.

I am grateful to astrological writers and thinkers of the calibre of Bernadette Brady, Armand Diaz, Kieron le Grice, Richard Tarnas, and Phoebe Weiss, to name a few of my own recent favourites, in the help they have provided me in thinking through what I have long seen as complementary lenses: the astrological world view and that of the weirdly paradoxical world revealed by quantum physics.

I want to learn more, in more depth, about the 96% of that vast energy field which science has told us is there – but which the procedures of scientific reductionism, centred on the 4% about which we DO know, seem to be able to tell us very little.

Wish me luck on the journey –  enjoy your own Jupiter in Scorpio plumbing expeditions, and feel free to report back…!

––––––––

Endnotes:

(i) Quotation from The Super Natural a new version of the unexplained by Whitley Strieber and Jeffrey J. Kripal: P283, from a chapter called Mythmaking (Whitley Strieber)

****

This is a slightly edited version of my 15th Not the Astrology Column featured in the November/December 2017  Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.

Zodiac

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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

New Moon Eclipse in Cancer…the old order changes…

The only certainty in life is change…Jupiter this week turned direct in Scorpio and is soon to surface from those murky depths, entering his  fiery, adventurous home sign of Sagittarius early in November 2018, just two days after the North Node enters Cancer, thereby ending the Nodes’ eighteen months sojourn in Leo/Aquarius.

This first eclipse of the Cancer/Capricorn polarity, therefore, is an early herald of changing planetary weather as this especially turbulent year begins to wind down from the Midsummer peak. The Web is full of opinion and prediction regarding this Cancer solar eclipse. I have just shared Virginia Bell’s fine reflection on that very topic over on this site’s Facebook Page. 

However, in my usual contrarian style, I feel it’s time to look back a little, at the Leo/Aquarius Nodal journey and an interesting personal tale – told earlier this year – which illustrates its core meaning very vividly. 

‘...Unless you live in a cave far far away – with no wifi – you will have noticed that Jupiter is still in Scorpio, with the Moon’s Nodes travelling retrograde through Leo (North Node) and Aquarius (South Node). It’s time for a story weaving all those symbolic energies together. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

A fascinating conversation recently with a friend about individuality, lineage, and tribe – apt for Leo/Aquarius – evoked a long-buried memory. Many years ago, I took my good friend Emma (not her real name), then recovering from a serious illness,  for a restful holiday to the Hebridean island of my birth. Transport links were poor, we were young and adventurous; hitchhiking to the remote places and beautiful beaches I wanted to show her seemed the best option.

“What you need to remember,” I said to her solemnly as we set out for one of the wild outlying areas on the Atlantic coast where my Macleod ancestors had lived, “ is that I have been away for such a long time that I don’t really know anyone in those parts any more.”

We were soon offered a lift from a man aged around sixty – a total stranger. As we drove through increasingly wild, starkly beautiful countryside towards our destination, after chatting amicably about this and that, he looked quizzically at me and said, head to one side: “ You wouldn’t be any relation of Calum Curlach (Calum of the curly hair) I suppose?”

Startled, I replied “Yes. He was my grandfather.”

Later that day, with rain pouring down and us getting soaked, whilst trudging past some houses on a hillside overlooking a stunning beach wreathed in sea mist, I said to Emma “I’m fed up of this – a cup of tea would be a good idea. Come on, I’m going to knock on the first door to ask if we can come in for shelter till the rain goes off.”

“You can’t do that to complete strangers!” she said.

“Watch me,” was my reply.

She had never experienced the tradition of Celtic hospitality in which I had been raised.

Five minutes later, we were warming ourselves by a peat fire whilst the lady of the house fussed around, making tea and sandwiches. After a few pleasantries had been exchanged, she asked me what I recalled as a very traditional Hebridean question: “Who are your people?”

On finding out that I was Calum Curlach’s granddaughter, she added scones and cream to the sandwiches. We spent the next hour eating, drinking tea and hearing stories about my distant relatives which I had never heard before. Emma sat there listening in open-mouthed amazement.

Heading back to town some hours later, on one of the very infrequent local buses, she remarked with a grin:

“You lied to me! I thought you didn’t know anyone here any more?”

“Well, I don’t, in any personal sense” was my reply. “ I was known today by lineage and by tribe, not for who it is I actually am.”

I added that I did not know whether to be comforted or disconcerted by what had occurred.

Many years later, as an astrologer reflecting on the above events – whose memory was evoked by that recent conversation with the friend who had been recognised in a similar way herself – a realisation dawned. In that strange engagement between my individualistic urban self and the Celtic community into which I had been born and raised, I had encountered the Leo/Aquarius polarity in a very striking form.

Leos – I have the Sun and several planets in Leo, in the twelfth house – need above all things to be recognised and affirmed for their unique individuality. Aquarians, on the other hand, are quite comfortable with an identity shared with whatever the tribe is to which they consider they belong.

I find it quite fascinating that our conversation should have occurred during the present Leo/Aquarius Nodal/eclipse season; also, I am writing this column just after the much-hyped Super Moon lunar eclipse on January 31st – which triggered natal Pluto, ruler of my 29 degrees Scorpio IC/South Node..

Furthermore, checking back in the ephemeris, I found that in the summer in which the experience described had occurred, the North Node was transiting my Scorpio/South Node IC.  As a further thread in the weave of lineage,  I had discovered some years ago that grandfather Calum Curlach’s progressed IC was 29 degrees Scorpio in the year I was born…

Natal Jupiter is in my third house in Scorpio right now. I am currently at the end of one 12-year Jupiter cycle, awaiting the challenging new possibilities for learning and development which the new one will bring, as it will to all of us Jupiter in Scorpio folk.

In keeping with this, I had been thinking a great deal before that conversation about my grandfathers, wonderful old men, who both died during my first Jupiter Return. I was then approaching twelve years of age. Their passing opened me out to an understanding of some deep truths: all human life is finite; love and loss are but two sides of the same coin.

There is a story, too, about my other grandfather. This involves his Victorian rose gold watch chain, and my choice to have it melted down and made into golden crescent earrings and a ring – which I collected just two weeks ago, several Jupiter Returns after he died, during this Leo/Aquarius Nodal season. But that tale is for another day…

Endnotes:

This post first appeared in my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’ in the July/August 2018 Issue.

Zodiac

Zodiac

Zodiac

1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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

Answering a challenge: “Is it true that REAL astrologers do not charge for their services ?”

One of the delights of running a regular astrology site  – especially one called Astrology: Questions and Answers ! – is the ensuing dialogue with emailers and commenters. Some of it can be quite testing, as this recent enquiry, from ‘Horoscope, revealed:

Is it true that REAL astrologers do not charge for their services as it is against the code to take profit out of a gift from God to help people? I read this and saw a medium on tele say it.  In these circles it is donations given based on good work. Is this true at all?

*****

ashwintrivedi.com

ashwintrivedi.com

Dear Ms/Mr/ X (I am assuming ‘Horoscope’ is not your real name)

this interesting question strongly suggests that you associate the practice of astrology with the practice of mediumship. They are two separate activities. Thus a comment on how mediums operate cannot usefully be applied to the practice of astrology. Before getting down to discussing the issue of payment of fees for any professional service, be that professional an experienced lawyer, doctor, accountant or astrologer, it might be useful for you to know, very broadly speaking, what astrology is.

Popular star sign or sun sign astrology is the most well-known kind. Perhaps that is the type you had in mind? This astrology functions largely as popular entertainment, in which the point of reference is the twelve Sun or Star signs under which individuals are born, depending upon the time of year, eg Scorpio, Aries, Leo, etc.The predictions offered on the basis of this limited focus entertain millions of people across the world on a daily basis.

However, popular astrology can only give a general picture; it’s like trying to tell the story of a complex play with reference to only one character on the stage, ie your Sun sign. To get a view of all the characters on the stage of your life, you need a map which an astrologer draws of the heavens for the particular time, and place as well as the day of your birth.This map, horoscope or birth chart can then be used, via the position of all the planets on that day, as a tool to describe, as lucidly as possible, the different characters on the stage of your life and how they interact with one another.

The key thing people gain from an astrology reading, in my view, is confirmation of who they actually are, along with their strengths and weaknesses, their difficulties – and their gifts. It gives them more confidence and courage to be themselves. It is a very powerful and potentially spiritual experience to have a stranger, who knows nothing of you, describe your essential qualities accurately from a map drawn of the heavens for the moment you entered this world.This helps you to see that we are all interconnected and part of the One, whatever name you choose to give that vast, indescribable Mystery.

Regarding qualifications and training, I have a university degree and three post-graduate diplomas, the third of which involved three years’ travel to and from London in order to meet the stringent requirements required to obtain my Diploma in Psychological Astrology in 1998. This included one year of mandatory personal therapy in order to have the experience of being a client myself.

I am not alone in having made considerable efforts and allocated a great deal of time and money to becoming skilled and competent at my profession.Whilst not wishing to speak for my colleagues, all the astrologers with whom I associate are well-educated people of considerable intelligence and integrity who share the same core values as I do regarding the importance of treating our fellow human beings with sensitivity and compassion. We owe this to those who come looking for help and clarification, often at turning points in their lives. Their experience, and mine, is that an astrology reading can be of considerable assistance.

And now, about money….

In the process of being useful people in the world, astrologers, like anyone else, need to eat, put a roof over their heads, and bring up their families. We also need to pay for our office rent, professional indemnity insurance, professional supervision and organisational memberships – as well as the many other expenses involved in running a professional practice. Ms/Mr X, are you suggesting that we should live in this world and practice our profession without charging realistic fees to cover our living costs like everyone else? I do hope not.

In conclusion, thank you very much for asking your question. It has provided me with an opportunity to give readers a window into how responsible, professional astrologers actually operate.

––––––

Endnote:

This post was re-published as my 7th Not the Astrology Column in the May/June 2016  Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

Retrograde Mars: report from the front line…

There are times when one contemplates one’s ephemeris with a degree of trepidation.

Noting that transiting Mars was due to turn retrograde during our week’s holiday in Devon in England – from which I was planning to attend the UK Astrological Association’s ultra-special 60th Anniversary Conference on 22-24 June – was one of those times.

Mars being reasonable - must be in Libra....

Mars – stationary…

“Ooops…”, I thought, noting that Mars, as he slowed down then turned retrograde on Tuesday 26th June, would be conjunct my husband’s Sun and opposite my ruling planet Mercury. “ This may not be entirely without incident…”

We were due to leave for Devon on Wednesday 20th June. Cutting a very long story very short, we didn’t, owing to some trying circumstances arising prior to our departure. Having spent a total of ninety-seven increasingly stressed and frustrating minutes in three separate calls to India where UK Trainline’s ticketing administration is located, we managed to re-book our seats, departing one day late.

It’s a long train journey from Glasgow to our Devon destination. Nine hours, to be precise. However, I was revelling in a lengthy period of time to do nothing but read, chat desultorily, and stare out the window. Until lunch struck. I use this verb advisedly. Biting into my sandwich I felt a stab of pain, on inspection discovering that a bit of my lower back tooth had sheared off. ( I still don’t know where it ended up…)

A plethora of mobile telephone calls followed until I achieved an emergency dental appointment at 3pm on Friday afternoon – when I should have been arriving at the AA Conference. In any case, given the stresses preceding our departure, I had decided I could not face the extra travel which would be involved to get there only one day after our arrival in Devon, and had reluctantly cancelled my Conference booking.

We arrived in beautiful weather and resolved to make the most of it, centred round re-doing some of our favourite walks, during which my husband acquired two nasty cleg bites, banged his hand which resulted in most dramatic and widespread bruising, and developed a bad cold which meant him coughing and sneezing his way through our much–anticipated visit to Cornwall’s Eden Project on Monday 25th June.

Eden Project 2018

Eden Project 2018 (click on image to enlarge) 

Photo: Anne Whitaker

We almost did not get there. On Sunday afternoon, whilst crossing a road at a main roundabout, I tripped and fell, ripping a new pair of trousers, cutting my knee, gashing my left toe and staving my right hand with which I broke the fall. It still aches. Miraculously, the fall was the only thing broken…

Considering how highly-strung you are, you are a remarkably relaxed fall-er,

observed my beloved. You’d never guess he is Aquarian, now, would you?!

Tuesday 26th June arrived, Mars went retrograde, and we had a delightfully relaxed day, the highlight being a long and delicious Italian lunch in a favourite restaurant. The weather was extremely warm; with the rest of the town’s population outside eating ice cream, we had the place to ourselves. A delicious bottle of chilled white wine made an excellent cooler. We concluded that, despite vicissitudes various of a decidedly martian nature, we had had a most enjoyable few days. Tomorrow, time to go home.

However, Mars had not yet finished with us.

Picture the scene. The end of a nine-hour train journey. We arrive in Glasgow Central Station at 18.15 hours, on time. We are tired. We are hungry. In my bag are a tangerine and an apple. Oh – and a bottle of water and some chewing gum… The train is very crowded with returning commuters travelling from nearby locations. Oh. There appears to be a problem. Leaves on the line? No. The wrong kind of snow? Hardly.

Fortunately, we are in a train at the head of a queue of four: they can neither move forward nor back, owing to late/delayed trains all over the place. The reason? Points failure ahead, points failure behind. Stuffed. Stuck. One and three quarter hours later, we stagger off with our luggage. Goodness knows how long those poor folk behind us in the queue had to wait to escape.

In a very crowded Central Station, stranded travellers are milling around. “Scotrail regret to announce that all train journeys to and from Central Station are now cancelled. Please accept our apologies…”

I wondered idly to myself, as we wearily joined the taxi queue snaking round the block opposite the station, whether I should present myself in the control room and offer to broadcast the following announcement: “Sorry, folks, but I’m afraid the planet Mars is now retrograde until the end of August. Best be philosophical about all delays…”

Well, maybe not…

And how is YOUR retro Mars proceeding thus far? Do tell!

Zodiac

Zodiac

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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

 

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…

Jupiter

Jupiter

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!

Zodiac

Zodiac

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

Why is the Twelfth House so fascinating?

A couple of days ago, I shared my friend and colleague Christina Rodenberg’s fine post Twelfth House People on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page, where it attracted a good deal of attention and quite a few additional feedback comments, vividly illustrating people’s experiences of the elusive, mysterious Twelfth House. What is it about this House which so challenges and fascinates people?

The Universal Sea/12th House

The Universal Sea/12th House

The response to Christina’s post, both on her site and on my Facebook Page, has inspired me to repost the essay I wrote a few years ago on that very topic. I hope you enjoy reading it, and that it helps you to re-frame in a more contemporary, more positive light, your responses to that most elusive place in space.

******

“…I have had many very powerful, affirming and moving responses to my recent article/essay “Contemplating the Twelfth House: an optimist’s take on self-undoing”, which has now been published three times, first of all by the USA’s Mountain Astrologer (summer 2014) then by the UK’s Astrological Journal (spring 2015) and most recently by the world’s most popular astrology website  www.astro.com:

Read/Download  Contemplating the 12th House here

–  with my thanks to The Mountain Astrologer magazine for use of their pdf version of this piece of work…”

******

300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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