Jupiter stations direct: Meditating on hope, wisdom, freedom, and joy

Jupiter will station direct tomorrow at 9:37 a.m. EDT. There are many ways to process this for insight and inspiration. Here are a few, taken from my class for Fresh Voices in Astrology earlier this year: Jupiter in Sagittarius: When Do We Get to The Good Part?

Meditating on Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet, named after the mythological most divine ruler. So just imagine that for a moment, and now imagine more of that quality in you. Jupiter symbolizes some area of talent, luck, or blessings: where we have an inborn connection to greatness and can have even more if we believe in ourselves, pick up some wisdom along the way, and go for it. Ultimately Jupiter represents how we can access a state of success, gratitude, and joy.

Jupiter is between Mars and Saturn. So it’s beyond Mars, the planet of action and desire. But before Saturn, which helps us grow up, commit, and work hard at something. And that placement is meaningful because first, Jupiter helps us wish. Just try. Follow our excitement. Tune into hope. 

 
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The glyph or symbol of Jupiter is the God’s lightning bolt. It’s also the crescent of receptivity rising above the cross of matter. Steven Arroyo calls this “the intermixing of the spiritual and the material.” We have an earthly experience of structure, limits, points of decision-making. Interacting with that cross is this crescent, cup, or moon -- the emotional, imaginative, loving, healing realm. We absorb and reflect or take in and pour back out this mixture of the real and the mysterious, the practical and the nourishing: humanity and divinity. Can we be receptive and generous enough to do that?

Meditating on Sagittarius

In Sagittarius, Jupiter has come home, where the energy is pure and powerful, so it’s hypothetically easier to express. Jupiter is in its rulership in Sagittarius — its castle. In the zodiac cycle, which starts with Aries and the first day of Spring, Sagittarius is the 9th sign, between the still, deep waters of Scorpio and the cardinal, beginning earth of Capricorn. Sagittarius as a mutable sign has an agenda of movement: A passage between inner and complex, psychological processes and outer, impressive accomplishments. The archer between the scorpion and the seagoat or mountain goat. 

 
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Mutable signs don’t tie us to anything just yet but remind us of a need for variety, change, flexibility. And Sagittarius as a fire sign wants action, a challenge. It wants to find and express freedom, passion and inspiration. It’s also the centaur, combining the animal nature and wisdom of the body with the higher mind. When we shoot the arrow it takes us to new places both mentally and physically. And that’s exciting for a planet in Sagittarius. That feels good. learning, moving, disseminating. Paraphrasing Steven Forrest, three faces of Sagittarius are the student, the traveler, and the philosopher.

Sagittarius is also the great connector of threads, finding common themes and deriving meaning. And so it can help to reflect on the past Jupiter in Sagittarius cycle, or as many as you can remember.

June 9, 1960 - October 25, 1960
January 14, 1971 - June 4, 1971
September 11, 1971 - February 6, 1972
July 24, 1972 - September 25, 1972
December 25, 1982 - January 19, 1984
December 9, 1984 - January 3, 1996
November 23, 2006 - December 18, 2007
November 8, 2018 - December 2, 2019

Have any themes recurred for you this year that tie into past Jupiter cycles? Think about how might this be a homecoming not just for Jupiter, but for you, too.

Meditating on Direction

There are high and low expressions of every symbol in astrology. The danger of a planet in its own sign is that there’s nothing to put the brakes on. Jupiter in Sagittarius can be extreme: Overindulging, overdoing, overextending.  It can symbolize our tendency to jump to conclusions, leap before we look, or become stuck in an echo chamber or our own opinions.

There’s a naive face of this, like a good-time party animal or a thrillseeker. Relying on luck or bravado can lead to all kinds of accidents or disasters. But the darker side of this is if we create a belief system around greed or glory or superiority that just keeps expanding. This is a reality of the moment, too.

High Jupiter in Sagittarius expression is merciful and honorable. The cross and the crescent underscore Hippocrates’s ideal of “first, do no harm” — as long as we don’t stay in our rooms all day because we’re afraid of doing harm. The world needs our leadership, too. Jupiter represents a lifelong process of developing a higher code in some area. But Jupiter also represents something to do: instructions for a better life. Jupiter is considered the “greater benefic” in astrology, and benefic comes from the Latin bene and facere -- to do well. And so our well-being is tied to a verb — an action.

Since April 10th of this year (EDT), Jupiter has been retrograde. A retrograde period symbolizes a slowing down, retracing, inward time. But it can also be a do-over. This could have felt extremely frustrating if we really wanted to push ahead on something. Especially for people with strong Sagittarius and Pisces, signs ruled by Jupiter, we might have found ourselves having to dig deep to access hope. The symbolism of Jupiter retrograde was partly that discernment takes time: That wisdom can come from looking back and within, from processes that are less linear, more imaginative. Jupiter retrograde, for better or worse, gave us insight into what was beyond our control. And hopefully it helped counter some of the excess of Jupiter in Sagittarius, drawing our attention not just to outer action but to inner wisdom and our deepest, most passionate dreams.

Now that Jupiter is stationing direct again, we re-aim that arrow to a direction that’s not just personally exciting but also meaningful and broad.

The Jupiter in Sagittarius Lesson

The symbolism we’re dealing with when we talk about Jupiter in Sagittarius is possibility. Just that it’s possible to have faith again, to feel connected to the celebration. Through December of this year, it could help us simply to know that: That the person we see sharing good news may really need that victory right now. Or that it’ll be our turn one day, too. And if it is our turn, can we give ourselves permission to enjoy it?

The current integration of Jupiter in Sagittarius with the other outer planets is an opportunity to be more grounded and more open. If we’ve been gifted in our lives, how can we pay it forward? If we carry a legacy from our family or just people in general who’ve shown us what decency looks like, what character looks like, how can we share that? What are the mature and practical ways we can show kindness or vulnerability or leadership that will elevate not just us but others too? And can we treat ourselves that way, with bold acts of love and generosity and mercy?

Goodness and generosity and blessings are out there just as they’re inside every one of us. Someone or something is out there helping us, cheering for us, making our success possible.

The Jupiter in Sagittarius lesson is this: Something celebrates when we show up.



The moon as love

These past couple of days had some challenges. It’s not so simple to reconcile the moon’s Aquarius energy of social interaction and curiosity with the deeply-feeling, protective energy of the three Scorpio planets it’s squaring. Do we get out there or do we stay hidden?

I’m easily hurt and embarrassed. And I’m also part-extrovert. So I don’t really know how to do this dance.

The Libra sun symbolizes a balancing act, and Venus retrograde hints that maybe in the past it hasn’t always gone so smoothly. But the moon always symbolizes the great healer: Unconditional love that doesn’t leave us. The moon is tidally locked to the earth, always showing us the same face, brighter or darker, more or less visible, but always there.

I hope you feel connected to that love today.

Moon opposite Pluto and the power of projection

Last night I had a dream I was about to play Monica Seles in a tournament match.

In the dream I didn’t have any special abilities. I knew it was ridiculous to go up against Monica Seles. I probably haven’t played tennis since fifth grade. Still I wanted to help her, because she needed this match for her standings. I knew she and I shared a birthday, so I thought, “I guess by playing I can help a fellow Sadge move ahead.” 

I didn’t have much time, so I prepared for the match by buying the right clothes. It might have been more useful to work on my serve or to stretch. I knew she would destroy me on the court. But I at least wanted to look the part. 

Accommodating, helping, sharing. Appearances, the question of an equal match. My dream was filled with Libran themes.

I woke up before I got to the stadium.

Today the moon enters the last quarter phase. Steven Forrest refers to "cathartic theater and the inner journey of the solitary artist" of this phase. In my dream I was about to face a powerful opponent who was sure to win. But she also has my birthday. On some level I was facing myself. 

Jumping in when it's not really appropriate or before I'm really ready to; over- or underestimating myself; deferring so someone else can win. I do these things sometimes, but do I still have to or want to? How often do habit or duty play a role in my decision-making? And what does it really matter what I look like??? 

Throughout this Virgo new moon cycle, the details and tasks that come up and the ways we're recruited to help or serve reveal to us the unfolding self that fits right now. It's a process of adjustment. It takes discernment. We get messages telling us how we’re doing, and we sift through them the best that we can. We weigh them with what we notice, and what feels safe and right for us, too. 

Who have been the major players in your life recently? What have been the major themes? Are there relationship or behavior patterns you've recognized? What have your dreams or intuition been telling you?

If a powerful image or interaction also gets your attention or elicits a strong emotional reaction, it might help to explore it from different angles or talk it through with someone you trust. It could have a helpful message that takes some time and attention to unpack.

Today's Cancer moon represents secure bonds and deep emotional safety needs. Show up for people how you can and when you're ready, but if you're someone who always thinks about other people, maybe give yourself some kindness, care, and love today, too.

The jarring Aries full moon: Growing -- and speaking -- up

The new moon that began this cycle symbolized the Virgo ideal: The worldly connecting us to the holy, like Barbara Brown Taylor's metaphor of laundry as prayer flag. Some part of our home base and identity takes on a level of higher meaning and becomes sacred through attention and ritual. But Virgo, as it seeks and reaches perfection, is a mutable sign. We never really stay “there”, or “there” changes.

And… so must we. This week's Aries full moon is revealing what’s no longer working as is through tension, passion, and conflict. It carries the energy of wanting to break out or break away – to shake free of complacency. Exploration. Fight. Flight. The Libra sun is rebalancing the scales somewhat. What truly fits or is fair now?

When I was growing up, the Thursday night NBC line-up was a big deal in our house. As New Yorkers in a large family The Cosby Show felt like watching ourselves: The doting husband, the sassy Mom, the occasional songs and choreographed dances. Eleven years ago, as Lang and I were about to start our own family, a Cosby Show marathon on the maternity room TV helped us relax, and even laugh, through some of my labor.

Yesterday Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for drugging and sexually assaulting women.

Whenever Libra is involved, the paradox of two truths plays a role, and that’s a big message of Monday's full moon. It’s true that I'm nostalgic about The Cosby Show. It’s true that I stand with survivors of sexual abuse. But Saturn in Capricorn was the apex of that t-square between the Libra sun and full Aries moon. Now that I’m an adult, which truth is more important? And are they really equal?

I noticed that Lyndon is starting that walk-half-a-block-ahead-of-your-mother phase. He’s using teenaged phrases like, “Whatever”— but softly, carefully — like the first time you say a word in a foreign language. I’m usually the one forging ahead: the coach. But at this stage Lyndon is learning boldness, directness, and independence, and I’m learning a more supportive role, and often a more worried one: Will he look both ways when he crosses the street? Will he hug me for a full five seconds? The other morning as I automatically straightened out the waistband of his sweatpants, it dawned on me: I really should ask before I do that. It’s a matter of respect I simply never considered before.

Whether we’re learning to be more assertive or more cooperative – or both – this week can be emotionally tense and jarring, as we realize we need to draw or accept new boundaries, as we take on new patterns of being and relating.

Some behaviors are no longer appropriate. And some have never been appropriate, but now our eyes are open. The Aries full moon reminds us: Take an honest look before deciding something's sacred or even simply fine as-is. For all of us on some level, it's time for a change.

We're accountable in a way we haven't been before.

Mercury square Saturn: Remember to listen and look

In November of last year a seed was planted. Mercury and Saturn joined at the same degree of Sagittarius. They joined together once more the next month, and finally the next – this time in Capricorn. Since then our mental processing and voice have had to pass through a series of stages toward wisdom, transformation and staying power, but not without grief, setbacks, and a lot of hard work.

How have your thinking and voice matured or left a mark since last November? What external events reflected a need to do so?

Wherever Saturn is going through your birth chart can seem like things are moving too slowly and you have to face too much alone. Today’s square from Mercury in Libra reminds us we have help. It reminds us there’s something we haven’t considered. It reminds us not to get too weighed down.

If we’ve been avoiding the work or letting someone else do it, it’s the reverse: Today is a reality check. Either way, it’s for our own benefit.

I’ve been plodding along but not always remembering the message of risk, reaching, freedom, and truth. That was the original promise. The Capricorn message of careful planning, uphill climbing, and a very long wait – winter – has probably been closer to my mindset. It’s been hard for me to stay hopeful. Today I needed to lighten up, look around, and breathe. The moon and Neptune coming together today help us return to our dream or start a new one.

Saturn in Capricorn is serious business, but growing up can inspire and teach us, too. Remember this process actually started as an arrow and a flame.

Taking off the mask: Venus in Scorpio

“All Things are One Thing” By Issac Abrams  and “Julie. Den Haag, Netherlands, February 29 1994” by Rineke Dijkstra, Tate Modern

“All Things are One Thing” By Issac Abrams and “Julie. Den Haag, Netherlands, February 29 1994” by Rineke Dijkstra, Tate Modern

While Venus was in Libra August 6 through September 9th we learned a little bit about compromise and getting along. Now that Venus is in Scorpio we could get a little more spiky. It’s like suddenly we realize  we’ve fallen asleep wearing a necklace or a necktie, and now we need to take it off. It’s not comfortable or appropriate.

A friend told me yesterday that I looked tired. I was, but also I haven’t been bothering to wear as much makeup, and I had forgotten to smile. Makeup and a smile are two Libra habits I usually bring to the table. But yesterday I didn’t, and honestly, at that moment I couldn’t. I was in a crappy mood, and I had a crappy face. That was the best I could do.

What behaviors or courtesies have you adopted to get along with others? Do any of them not sit well with you now?

While Venus is in Scorpio, we might surprise people who’ve gotten used to us being agreeable or nice. It’s time for a shake up, but try to be strategic and careful during the process. Try not to cut ties in a way you’ll later regret. Venus will re-enter Libra on Halloween, and for the following month we’ll have to revisit compromise in some way. But for now something about us might make people a little uncomfortable, as we discover penetrating truths or changes we need to make.  

If you notice this energy in your boss or coworker or in someone you love, try not to let it destabilize you. Try not to reject or judge it. It could lead to more intimacy and depth, even if it’s not so pretty.

We’re all just trying to get closer to who we really are.

About Bill Buckner: Mars enters Aquarius

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Mars enters the fixed air sign Aquarius at 8:55 p.m. EDT. Yesterday Venus entered the fixed water sign Scorpio.

Mars and Venus were in these signs in the fall of 1986, fall/winter of 1999, and the fall of 2001.

“So the winning run is at second base, with two out, three and two to Mookie Wilson. [A] little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!”

- Announcer Vin Scully, NBC, Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

We were Mets fans. 1986 was a very happy year in our house. But I’ve always felt bad for Bill Buckner.

He liked to wear a glove that was a little floppy. That night the jerky momentum of his body as he ran for and stopped to catch the ball caused his glove to close. Famously, Mookie Wilson’s hit went right through Buckner’s legs and earned the game-winning run.

Positively, Mars in Aquarius can be the action of a team working together or an individual doing things in an unexpected, outside-the-box or genius way. Negatively, Mars in Aquarius can be connected to rejection for exactly the same reasons: Why couldn’t you catch the damn ball?

Yesterday was a new moon in Virgo. This symbolizes a new beginning in careful attention and meaningful work, but also in humility and introspection.

Mars will be in Aquarius until November 10th. We’ll all have some unexpected victories and losses. As we’re more attuned and attention-driven for the next month, let’s also be mindful of each other’s feelings. Venus in Scorpio can symbolize powerful intuition and regeneration when it comes to Venus-ruled areas like love, money, and art, but it can also symbolize control issues, power plays, and scapegoating.

I hope we all find ourselves in Mookie’s position, shocked by great achievements. But if we find ourselves or someone else in Buckner’s, reflection and analysis can help us find a better reaction in a dark moment.

Thirty years later the 1986 Red Sox team was honored at Fenway. This is Buckner, getting a smile from hitting coach Walt Hriniak and a hug from former teammate Wade Boggs. Even when we’re crushed or disappointed, we’re capable of this response, too.