This morning I was helping a fourth grader remember how to add fractions. Over the last few weeks, her class has gone over adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions—during this morning’s review, she suddenly forgot the first stage in this process. She was a little flustered, but her situation was totally understandable. I thought it was a good and simple metaphor for Jupiter moving retrograde—are there things that we’ve already learned, but for whatever reason haven’t quite retained? We’re all going through cycles of development, and sometimes it’s necessary to return to things we’ve already learned, even if it doesn’t fit a linear model of progress and growth.
Today is the last quarter moon, which is also a T-Square with the planet Jupiter. Last quarter moons represent a crisis of integration—the moon is moving deeper into the dark, moving closer to the invisible essence behind the appearance of things (which then becomes a seed for the next cycle). Jupiter is retrograde, retracing its steps and going back over something that we might have already learned. Thus, today is a great day to reflect on what we’ve been learning—over the last month, and over the last few months.
The Sun’s opposition to Jupiter, which has been active for a week or so, is exact tomorrow (Tuesday), and will wane through the next week. Jupiter is retrograde and reworking our connection to enthusiasm, a sense of meaning and opportunity, and our relationship to guiding figures in our lives. Jupiter is a map-maker and storyteller, a way-shower and bestower of blessings. Here, we can picture the Sun’s vibrant light illuminating Jupiter as they retrace their steps. Likewise, we can also imagine our inner Sun, a central character in our lives being educated by some slow, careful wisdom, represented by Jupiter. Since this is an opposition, this might be difficult—there might be conflict or a dialectic process of integration, flipping back and forth until things feel whole and complete.
Over the next few weeks Jupiter will move back to where it was in December. Here, we might look back to whatever was going on at that time in our lives. Where did it feel like enthusiasm was pointing you? What would it feel like if whatever was beginning then was a starting place for a new adventure? On July 10th, Jupiter will start moving direct again.
This retrograde started as Jupiter slowed down into a sextile with Pluto. This gives us an image—Jupiter, a force of expansion, meeting Pluto, God of the Underworld. It’s as if whatever streamed out from the shadows sent Jupiter backwards on March 8th. Did you encounter something untrustworthy and compulsive? Did you find something forgotten or repressed, which would be rejuvenating or empowering to express? Would navigating away from or towards these dark objects alter your path? If this signal isn’t quite resolute, don’t worry—Jupiter will come back to dance with Pluto again in September.
Jupiter’s retrograde also takes him back into a trine with Neptune, which was active in November. It will be active throughout the summer—precise on May 25th and August 19th. This aspect calls to mind a richness of metaphorical and mythological imagery, an overflowing of dreaminess. There might be a stronger pull towards altered states of consciousness, and a deeper draw towards the otherworldly. Look for an expansive inner experience, savor art and synchronicity, and try to temper over-inflated ideas or stories of things. Reality check, reality check. Remember—Delusion literally translates to ‘out of play.’ Illusion translates to ‘in play.’
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