by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jupiter Stationary-Retrogrades

Solar system image courtesy of JPL (November 2013)
Here we’re all barely in the wake of the solar eclipse a few days ago...all still trying to figure things out...when, as of November 7th at 5:04 in the morning (in the UT/+0 zone) Jupiter goes retrograde.

Did we ask it to? No. Are we in the mood for it? Maybe not. But Jupiter is going retrograde anyway. And that means (whether we like it or not) that as of now - or to be extremely persnickety about this, as of when Jupiter moved into 'station' mode - which would have been yesterday (November 5th) at about the time Venus slid into Capricorn....

...As of then (or tomorrow, depending on how much of a purist you want to be here), we have run the full course of expanding our understanding, our scope of activity, our ‘gaining of ground’ in our life as a whole.

At least for the moment - and on the outside, that is. Planets (or anything else) going retrograde indicates a shift of scope or effect, not that the principle is going dormant or anything like that.

Heaven forbid. Humans, our lives, the Existence we exist in…there’s no time ‘off’ in any of it. We continue…it continues. And as that happens, throughout the year and throughout the years there is a steady but insistent shift which pulls us back and forth between external development and internal sorting through, reordering, integrating and paring away of ‘old parts’ (of life). Jupiter is the energetic which in flowing through our lives prompts us to push beyond what we know today and to learn how to apply that we learned yesterday. Jupiter’s premise teaches there is much to learn and how learning is just a phase in what it indeed a lengthy walk which only ultimately leads to comprehension and the ability to harness power slowly, easily and ethically.

A cucumber sprouts. Like it or not, we're all - in our own way - cucumbers.
(photo credit: SaKuRa, October 2006)
The first part of Jupiter so often seems easy. The second part? Like much of the ‘follow through’ implied by life, we humans don’t seem to like the follow through part very much, if that’s the part of any given process which leads to true empowerment.

Having power means very little until you learn how to use it…is a Jupiterian idea. And it’s true as well: power lies not in the possession, but in utilization. The attempt to control things – which we are all in the thick of yet another round of learning about through that we have to (Scorpio) deal with in life – is not about building, but about maintaining as guiding is control in its active and constructive mode.

So Jupiter is now going retrograde at 20 Cancer, a degree we discussed a bit here…

…and which is imaged by both the Sabian ‘price of success’ reference to cultural rewards but a set of lore threads which speaks to not just enslavement, but a need to be secured by that we are ‘enslaved’ by, be it our image, our job, the social circles we run in, our lifestyle – whatever.

Yet in going direct at 20 Cancer in this time, Jupiter is also ‘highlighting’ fixed star Castor – one of the two stars we think of as the Gemini twins. And Gemini, as you probably know by now, is all about the willingness to make a choice and follow it through. There may – under Gemini – be many choices all of which get made which all succeed so long as they all are followed through on. And since this lead us in one direction to multi-tasking and in another to priorities, where we end up with this ‘multi-part’ offering is the twin prongs of Gemini challenge.

With Jupiter going station/retrograde atop Castor, it is more than likely that we all have many ‘things’ we are attending to and we need to have priorities in dealing with them. At the same time, we also need to see them through. Whether you’re getting ready for the holidays, dealing with family, building a company or career or anything else, it’s one thing to simply say ‘I don’t have time for this’ and another thing to say ‘this isn’t easy, so I’m not going to deal with it’ or ‘I’m going to bail or take the easy way out.’

At the moment, Pholus and Ixion are across the zodiac from Gemini – specifically in opposition with Rigel, the star of the teacher, the teacher/student relationship and the student as teacher (‘grower’) of the Self which is in the process of learning more or better. This means that we are going to hear a lot about the teacher/student relationship – some for good, and some not so very much about good.

But this isn’t just about ‘formal’ classrooms, considering that life itself is the greatest learning process of all. Ixion and Pholus are two of the more obvious symbols having to do with ‘thinking about or for our Self’…which we would like to think is about being independent, but which far more often has to do with self-involvement or the being involved with ego and the price we pay for being so Self-oriented at various points in time and life.

THAT's more of what this station would seem to be about. The real-time choices will be there. We will have them, we will take them, we will recognize we will have to deal with ‘these’ choices for a while, even if we think (or know) they’re wrong.

Oppositions mean facing ugly or trying dynamics. So that Pholus and Ixion are not only in opposition to Rigel, Gemini’s primary totem star of learning but also in an inconjunct to Jupiter’s station.

Pholus/Ixion’s in an 8th sign (8th harmonic) derivation to Jupiter tells us that learning the hard way and needing to learn (the hard way) that life is not always about what we like is part of this period. Looking at this from the alternate perspective, Jupiter’s 6th derivation (6th harmonic relationship) to Pholus/Ixion tells us that this is also a time when we come to be aware of...or maybe even come to entirely comprehend that we have chosen certain things in life to make our lives difficult - even painful. 

And yet, that neither lessens our potential nor takes away the need to fulfill that potential to the best of our ability.
Okay…let’s just say that it’s easy to say ‘this is how it has to be’ and a whole lot harder to figure out whether we’re seriously short-changing someone by taking that declarative stance. And here is how that would seem to work: Cancer is the first of the water signs and thus the primal water sign. It’s about learning what emotions are, what they mean and how to handle them on all those very basic levels.

Note: I said NOTHING about this being simple. Why? Because it isn’t. If you think dealing with human emotions is simple, you aren’t dealing with them – period.

Cancerian emotionalism starts out as being purely about us. Cancer is the first of the water signs and therefore alludes to how we were first ‘patterned’ or molded my the emotions and emotional habits we encountered in early childhood. At that point we literally emulate what is going around us – maybe by copying it, and maybe by cooperating with it…and maybe both.

But now…and every time that Jupiter swings through this Castor-Pollux (20 to 23 Cancer) area of the zodiac we get to review whether that works and/or get better perspective(s) on how we learned to be someone then…and how that may or may not work for us now in our more adult life.

(Note: since Jupiter has an orbital period of just under 12 years, using an 11.5 estimate is pretty much the cycle on which Jupiter moves through this area of the zodiac. So where were you 11.5 years ago?)

Is it time to 'grow up' with regards to something? Or maybe things are happening which in their own peculiar and very special sort of way (yes, that was me being snarky) go to show us that said ‘early phase’ of life is over and how we really need a new plan for growth and a new way of relating to people as the current one is either not getting us where we want to be…or it’s only attracting the sort of people we really don’t want to have orbiting us quite so very closely.

With the Sun moving across the Scorpio cross-quarter points as Jupiter turns to retrograde on the 7th, the whole of Jupiter’s November 5th – 9th station window is about getting us to see that life is not only about what we build or what we get or get access to, it’s how we affect things. This is the sort of combination guaranteed to give us flashes of insight on how the surface world is indeed run by money and appearances…but while all that is happening, the truer connective – the energetic we all manifest as and through – is blind to everything but that which influences that connective.

You know, that ongoing conversation about Scorpio power, specifically that which is unlocked when we get past the exoskeleton to where we all are unformulated, to where more often than not, we not only don’t have backbones, we have no idea cartilage – never mind real bones – even exist.

The Scorpio-Cancer connection can teach us that even fear is a positive. If we think of fear as that thing which goads us to be aware and to use our time wisely, then we understand fear as a motivation.

The real question is whether those fears are about something real…or something we have imagined because we were taught to perceive it like that at some time in the past.

Jupiter’s turn to retrograde also occurs just a few days shy of Mercury’s station/direct (on November 10th) and Neptune’s station/direct (on November 13th). Those stations have their own integral meanings to be sure, but especially since both stations are occurring at 2 degrees of respective signs…and in part because both Mercury and Jupiter are in water signs, there is reason to think of this as a triad…or a wafting sort of overarching harmonic which will evidence through feelings and emotional gestures, decisions and…


…ineptitudes, willful delusions and plain old every day garden variety excuses.

But make no mistake here: when we see Neptune and Mercury lining up in any sense we have to think there is some illusion involved. That can be just fine, fabu and frolicsome as in ‘we’re going to Disneyland – put reality on hold!’ …or it can be the bold faced lie you tell someone – or (maybe even worse) your Self.

We’re also likely to see a lot of the squirmy stuff right now…the ‘oh, I don’t want to spoil their day.’ Or the ‘they’re already having a hard time…I shouldn’t make it harder’ stuff.

Wherever possible, canning the noblesse oblige is probably the best bet. Not the easy bet, but the more effective one. In essence, this moment is all about deciding how to move forward replete with all the ‘which’ and ‘when’ and ‘why’ questions. So while someone may not LIKE the truth you need to hand them, they’re better off dealing with the hand that bites.

Not that the hand necessarily bites them, but the news it may be passing along…? That may bite.

Given Venus’ shift into Capricorn just as Jupiter is moving to ‘open the station window’ (as it were…which is an interesting thing to think about watching from out there in space)…there are many of us who are going to be very aware of risk/loss possibilities and how to effectively get through what may be some tough sledding ahead. The Venus/Capricorn ingress will have ushered in some ‘cooling’ influences and though there is an aura of realism settling on us all, that does not (and will not) necessarily translate into stability for each and every one of us. And since about the time Jupiter goes retrograde, Venus moving through the midpoint between Neptune and Mercury gives us good reason to suspect that at least a few of us will admit (at least to ourselves) that the masterminding of our own personality and psyche is OUR job…not anyone else’s. I know there are some in society who think their ‘job’ is to not think and to be led, but that seems illogical.

(Yes, I hang out with Vulcans and inter-galactic guru types in my off hours.)

Put simply, if you aren’t willing to own you, you aren’t likely to develop much about who you are. So if you put your (under-developed) life into the hands of, or under the direction of someone else, given the 100% rule “LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE” who they fern are they? Wouldn’t that be the blind being led by those with highly advanced mental glaucoma?

Whether we are willing to see this truth or any other truth depends on how well we deal with our Jupiter (the natal one in our individual chart) and where 20 Cancer falls in that chart. It also gets down to a funny part of astrological theory I will impart before closing out for the day.

We all know the order of the solar system, more or less. And for those who have struggled with the order of the planets, my sympathies. Me too. For whatever reason, I had a very hard time knowing where Venus was for the longest time.

(Yes, I did finally commit the proper list to memory.)

The thing to remember here is that the ‘human world’ – the direct part of it – is symbolized by the Sun (our life) being the center of our life with the whole of ‘our existence’ flowing out from there. But since Saturn is the planet farthest from Earth which is visible with the unaided human eye, metaphysically that’s as far ‘out’ there as we can built – to the point where we work (Saturn) to earn (Saturn) those worldly (Saturn) achievements which give us a durable (Saturn) and lasting (Saturn) structure to stand on or operate with/through in life.

The last three of those “Saturns” by the by, could also be listed as “Saturn and/or Capricorn.”
But as soon as we build this Sun, Mercury, Venus, (Earth)Moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn  pattern as the natural manner in which to see our life and the natural progression we think of life as being build on/as…then we can turn it around, you know.

Oh yes…we can indeed!

Before I get you to stand on your mental head for a moment, let’s just look at hat list in its more ‘attributable’ form:
  • Sun (life)
  • Mercury (thought)
  • Venus (cost/reward)
  • (Earth)Moon (feelings)
  • Mars (motivation/action)
  • AsteroidBelt (life factors)
  • Jupiter (comprehension/mastery)
  • Saturn (reward/achievement)
We exist (Sun) and therefore we do. We learn to consider (Mercury) what we’re doing so that we can do the parts we either like doing or need to do as they need doing (please note the genuinely natural split of rationales in the Mercurial cause!).

Then we realize that how (and how well) we do things governs – at least in part – the response or reward (Venus) we get for doing them. And that in turn generates our feelings and our emotional responses.

Voila…we have now reached the (Earth-Moon) Cancer stage of the process: the indoctrination of our character with what feels good, what feels bad and what allows us to opt out of feelings altogether – all of which can be good or bad, depending.

That is then followed by our efforts to escape (flight), defend (fight) ignore (deny) or make things into what they should be – all of which are the typical Mars responses. I’m now energized about this. What should I do about it – anything?

Considering Mars is the sole ruler of “I Am” Aries and the Scorpio ‘how and where I interact with others,’ this is the level at which the recent solar eclipse has – in part been operating to show us how what we choose to get into or not get into ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’ a developmental force in our lives, making it abundantly clear to us which parts of our life are functional and growth-oriented, and which aren’t.
The tendency will be to put all the effort into what’s going right, but that would be a mistake, since it will define us as someone who will arrive at our ‘understanding’ and Jupiterian ‘comprehension’ state…the state at which we want to move into mastery of things…in an unbalanced condition.

At that point we will either have to turn around and go BACK to the Mars stage and catch up with ourselves or we will – as many do – go on through our lives hounded by the internal knowledge that we are impaired either on the ‘human’ part of our being or on the ‘being’ part which has everything to do with doing something with our humanity, our time and the fact that we exist.

But this list – as suggested – can be seen the other way around: Saturn-Jupiter-Asteroid Belt-Mars-(Earth)Moon-Venus-Mercury-Sun. In essence, when we look at life metaphysically, we are all ‘pinging’ off Saturn. (Which helpfully has a whole bunch of moons and all those rings for us to aim at.) But at this level the question becomes akin to what was once known as the ‘Descent of the Spheres’ where the macrocosm becomes the microcosm.

And that really is what we’re describing here. When we start with the Sun we’re starting at the ‘individuality’ end of things: we are going from the microcosm of the one, the you, to All Which Is…or at least all that is in your personal world (Saturn).

But when we start with Saturn, we are looking at what your personal world is, and what it can provide for you to build on, and with. And all those premises about relationships to “planetary traits” begin to hit home when we look at things in this sort of large-to-small sort of manner. The Saturn which symbolizes time and responsibility in “regular” life, under this perspective comes to be our tendency or willingness to choose that one method of going after our (Saturn) goals which will – inevitably – reflect our own attitudes towards (in this case) responsibility.

Thus the person who cannot handle responsibility tends to pick – regardless of their own ability to recognize their issues with responsibility – other people or places to work where the hierarchy, bosses, product or whatever will also fail to embrace the full scope of Saturnine responsibility.

This will go on down through the ‘decent’ through planetary rungs…which at this point would tend to say something is in ‘flux’ with regards to ‘Things Jupiter.’

It’s impossible of course, to know where you are with your own Jupiter issues. But if things are tough right now as you think about ‘how things can move forward from here’…IF you have any sense that you are in the wrong place or dealing with the wrong people or not doing things in the order you need to do them in order to be YOU – that entirely unique individual that you are…then the next (oh, about) four months of Jupiter being in retrograde is a good time to clean up your act, starting with your most primal and primary relationships with others. This is not about the specifics of the ‘who’…this is about why you respond to one person one way and another person another way.

Our answers always like in our past in this regard. That’s simply how it works as human beings. Some things are valid for a time but terrible and detrimental if we hold onto them as habits – particularly emotional or emotionally-driven habits – for too long a time. So this isn’t about recrimination…this is about enhancing our ability to be free in our own lives. This is about the understanding that when we try to bully through life, the person we’re bullying – and being bullied by (more often than not) is our Self.

Self-sacrifice is only okay when it’s a gift consciously given. Yet even then, we must make sure that the reason we are making that sacrifice is worthy of our inhibition.

That can be a very complicated question indeed, a quest which is only wrong when we refuse to care enough to understand.

When we refuse to learn or comprehend the fullness of the implications of our choices all becomes very dark indeed in spite of whatever 'bright spots' we choose to focus on. Inevitably they become too small or too lacking in illumination for who we really are, as the light which needs to be shined on that life...our life...comes from understanding that no matter how great the burden, there is a reason to carry it and a reason to carry through on it, for even the worst beginnings can be made to serve a better purpose.

That's something I happen to know about. So I'll suggest it's worth thinking through. That which we feel 'cursed' by is often the very energetic we need to confront, for in the confronting and in the managing of that confrontation comes the truest harnessing of Self - and thus the key which allows us to unlock our truest power and become that human most beautiful.


  1. I have few very general questions about transits and stationary points.
    In your experience as an astrologer have you observed transits to nodes (especially if it is NOT a conjunct) by planets are similar to transits to planets by planets?
    Also do you think a transit by a planet when it is stationed (that is the aspected planet is at the same degree but same or different signs as the stationary degree) has more powerful lessons/rewards than a moving transit?

    1. Question One: no, I don't think that transits to nodes are generally experienced in the same way as transits to planets, even if we eliminate dissimilarities of aspect and sign. Planets refer to something "intrinsic" about our Self or about some facet of life which we are addressing ourselves to (or need to address ourselves to!). Nodes refer to a more nebulous or abstract energy/energetic which at some level connects us to others...or to a situation.

      Question Two: A transiting aspect made by a planet which is itself on station has a FAR more powerful effect than a transiting aspect made by a planet merely moving along in direct motion.

      Does that answer the question? If not, let me know!

      - Boots

    2. Thanks. So what you are saying is we do feel aspects to nodes (squares, trines etc.), but the lessons are more external than internal. For example, if the current Jupiter station trines or squares someone's Pisces north node, you will experience it through some external events rather than events happening in your life that would lead to some internal changes.