Jupiter in Libra
Jupiter enters Libra on 9 September 2016 where it will remain until 11 October 2017. Since this shift occurs at the same time as the last exact square between Saturn and Neptune, there could very well be extreme tensions in one’s life in need of balancing which Jupiter entering the sign of the Scales can facilitate. Furthermore, Jupiter enters Libra in a period in between eclipses, with Mercury retrograde forming a hard aspect with Mars, and Jupiter itself invisible and becoming purified under the beams of the Sun. As a result, it will take some time before the full spectrum of Jupiter’s benefits will be felt in the Libra area of your life, yet Jupiter’s entrance into Libra will still bring some welcomed positivity immediately.
Jupiter is more comfortable in Libra than in Virgo because it has triplicity dignity in Libra, meaning that Jupiter is “in its element” as it prefers to be in Air signs more so than Earth signs. This accord comes from the Air signs of astrology being connected to the jovial sanguine temperament which is harmonious with the nature of Jupiter. In fact, Jupiter has been said to rule the sanguine temperament. Sanguine is uplifting and seeks cohesion in social connections, a quality of moistness becoming hot which in personality comes across as desire to be successful while also being optimistic and lighthearted, supportive and forgiving of others socially.
Jupiter’s time in Libra can direct vision toward what is pleasurable and harmonizing, as it will be in the domicile of Venus. Libra is the diurnal, outwardly directed home of Venus where the significations of Venus occur at a swifter pace than her other home of Taurus. Libra is also a Cardinal sign, adding a quality of initiation and gathering the impetus to strike out on new endeavors that will make this an opportune period to find ways to be more collaborative in community.
While Libra is a Cardinal sign ultimately about initiating one’s own, selfish pursuits, its place as the Cardinal Air sign ruled by Venus means it supports acting in accordance with the needs of relationships rather than being instinctually direct like its polarity Aries. There results a mix of a rational, reflective side with the feelings and associated values of Venus pursuits, leading to a greater capacity for thought and strategizing to inform action more so than impulsive, overwhelming feelings. However, it is also a mistake to think that everything associated with Libra is in balance, for in reality there is a constant fluctuating of things becoming unbalanced as part of its balancing act. If balance is achieved it is only momentary, as any equilibrium gained instantly becomes vulnerable to coming out of balance again or falling into disarray.
Libra as the sign of the scales is about the perpetual balancing experienced in all of our relationships in the world. As a symbol the scales conjure the Egyptian imagery of Maat and the weighing of the Soul after death, at which time the heart would ideally be as light as a feather instead of heavy with the gravitas of unresolved issues. Maat is also the balancing of natural, terrestrial, and cosmic order arising from the field of chaos and its constant flux. From this comes a sense of social justice felt by a heart aligned with natural order, as well as the social conventions of how a society ascribes judgment to what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior. Jupiter is a planet of philosophical understanding that brings knowledge through the experience of natural law and order. In our modern world, however, the societal conventions and laws created by humanity are often at odds with natural order. In the constant balancing act of an individual moving through the injustices of this world, the transit of Jupiter in Libra will exacerbate tensions around injustice while seeking to stabilize efforts on behalf of social justice.
When looking upon an image of scales, even if they appear in stillness their form suggests the ceaseless, endless recalibrating going on within everyone, everything, in every moment. Franz Kafka in his novel The Trial revealed the struggles of the individual faced with the injustices of the modern world, including ethnic tensions, class differences, and the abuse of women. In one of many brilliant scenes, Kafka portrayed a meeting between his protagonist Josef K. and the painter Titorelli that unveiled the shadow of law and order, in that law systems claiming to be on the side of justice are in reality always on the hunt to be victorious:
There was a large figure shown in middle of the throne’s back rest which K. could not understand and asked the painter about it. That’ll need some more work done on it, the painter told him, and taking a pastel crayon from a small table he added a few strokes to the edges of the figure but without making it any clearer as far as K. could make out. “That’s the figure of justice,” said the painter, finally. “Now I see,” said K., “here’s the blindfold and here are the scales. But aren’t those wings on her heels, and isn’t she moving?” “Yes,” said the painter, “I had to paint it like that according to the contract. It’s actually the figure of justice and the goddess of victory all in one.” “That is not a good combination,” said K. with a smile. “Justice needs to remain still, otherwise the scales will move about and it won’t be possible to make a just verdict.” “I’m just doing what the client wanted,” said the painter . . .
. . . “Only it’s a pity that you can’t make out the details of his costume and pose in this picture, pastel colours aren’t really suitable for showing people like this.” “Yes,” said K., “it does seem odd that it’s in pastel colours.” “That’s what the judge wanted,” said the painter, “it’s meant to be for a woman.” The sight of the picture seemed to make him feel like working, he rolled up his shirtsleeves, picked up a few of the crayons, and K. watched as a reddish shadow built up around the head of the judge under their quivering tips and radiated out the to edges of the picture. This shadow play slowly surrounded the head like a decoration or lofty distinction. But around the figure of Justice, apart from some coloration that was barely noticeable, it remained light, and in this brightness the figure seemed to shine forward so that it now looked like neither the God of Justice nor the God of Victory, it seemed now, rather, to be a perfect depiction of the God of the Hunt.
— Franz Kafka, The Trial, Chapter 7
The Goddess of Justice in the painting is running with winged feet causing her scales to be out of balance, creating a likeness to a Goddess of the Hunt rather than Lady Justice. Thus within the societal construct of a court system in which the individual purportedly is innocent until proven guilty, the court ostensibly concerned with justice is in actuality focused on hunting down the accused and triumphing over them. When Lady Justice is claimed by those in seats of power who manipulate their hierarchical power structures to increase and sustain their grasp on power, the societal conventions and structures of law and order fall out of balance with Her natural law.
Enantiodromia is a term from ancient Greek meaning “to run counter to,” that was unearthed in the work of Carl Jung (who had Jupiter in Libra in the third decan that it rules) to demonstrate his understanding that anything at an extreme state will turn into its opposite quality. The concept of a unity found in oppositions goes at least as far back as the time of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, whose famous statement that no one steps in the same river twice was embedded within a philosophy of flux that saw that everything in existence contains and turns into its opposite state. Jung brought this concept into his theories about the interplay between our conscious and unconscious, and how what we repress in our subconscious can erupt in polarity through our shadow. There is an inherent restoration of balance to our system that results that is not unlike the astrological meaning we can find in Libra, the sign of the Scales. Though we may want to strike out against the injustices of the surrounding world during the transit of Jupiter in Libra, to be most effective we will first need to face our own shadow that comes out in relationship with others.
As Libra places importance on dialogue in relationship, expressing one’s own needs while listening to the needs of others, an additional fitting concept emphasized by Carl Jung is Auseinandersetzung, German for “taking something to pieces.” This refers to confrontation in dialogue in which two people verbally engage without running away from the conflict. By staying engaged in the dialogue, the differences inherent to the disagreement become clarified and distinct, making an agreement or compromise possible. Jung believed it was also possible to engage in such a dialogue with one’s anima/us, clarifying the unconscious being projected into relationships and keeping us perpetuating past relational patterns. To Jung we gain “mettle” when facing the conflicts between our ego and anima/us, and out of the confrontation between the conscious and unconscious arises awareness of our wholeness, what he called individuation. This sort of inner integration that supports healthy growth is the domain of Jupiter.
Jupiter in the Home of Venus
When Jupiter enters Libra, Venus will be at home to welcome its visionary expansiveness into her dwelling place. While Jupiter in Libra may signify moderation and temperance in pursuit of desire and pleasure, it can also signify the excess of Venus that pull one into wild extremities of imbalance. Falling in love during expansive Jupiter’s journey through Libra brings to mind the ravenous rapture of the ancient poet Sappho, whose fragment 47 has been translated by Anne Carson as declaring, “Eros shook my mind like a mountain wind falling on oak trees.” Previous inner equilibrium unravels when opening to love, as it simultaneously opens one to the torment and grief of losing love. The negative aspects of relationships will be just as much a potential under Jupiter in Libra as they are at any other time, yet since Jupiter tends to stabilize it will support rebalancing any difficult feelings such as jealousy or the bittersweet absence of love. If the excesses of Jupiter are kept in check, the likelihood is for Jupiter in Libra to be a balm for improved communication and relations with others.
Jupiter in Libra can expand efforts in everything associated with Venus, whether that be arts, creativity, or the pleasure found in the body as well as the aesthetics of the senses. Taking on mundane projects such as redesigning an environment can become magical with Jupiter in Libra, and the cohesive nature of Jupiter can also be utilized to connect one’s own work of passion to the efforts of others of like mind in our global community. New combinations of abstract and aesthetic forms can come together into new movements that draw from the past yet display a fresh assemblage of influences that match the arising zeitgeist. Jupiter in Libra is a time to activate your creativity in your wider community.
Venus will be increasing in light as an Evening Star for the first period of Jupiter’s time in Libra, moving from Libra to Scorpio to Capricorn to Aquarius and through Pisces before stationing retrograde in Aries in March 2017. Venus will then move retrograde back into the final degrees of Pisces, the home of Jupiter. As Jupiter’s time in Libra is bound to the movement of Venus, the Venus retrograde of March through April 2017 (February through May 2017 if you count the “shadow zone”) will be a significant recalibration in the experience of Jupiter in Libra.
Jupiter in the Exaltation of Saturn
Libra is the exaltation of Saturn, and since Saturn in Sagittarius is lingering in the home of Jupiter, the entrance of Jupiter into Libra dramatically alters the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn from one of tension (the square from Virgo to Sagittarius) to one of harmony. After a year of deconstructing change, Jupiter in Libra forming a sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius is opportune for constructive building of new structures. As Jupiter approaches a sextile with Saturn at the end of 2016, opportunities will present themselves and obstacles will be removed in order to tend to the fracturing that came about from the last quarter square between Jupiter and Saturn that dominated the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016.
Austin Coppock has talked about Saturn’s exaltation in Libra being about the ideal of forming contracts, laws, and other binding agreements out of consensus, an interpretation I agree with. Saturn and Jupiter are both diurnal planets that favor Air signs, and Libra also forms a trine to Aquarius, the diurnal and airy home of Saturn. With Saturn in Sagittarius, there is increased potential through Jupiter in Libra to organize efforts on behalf of social justice that make a direct impact in local communities, as well as for legislative bodies in governments to come together into compromised agreement around issues of civil rights. Jupiter in Libra will support building social movements that address injustice.
In my nation and government of birth, the Statue of Liberty is the Goddess of Justice, our Colossus overlooking the sea bringing tides from other lands. Though a symbol of liberty and welcoming, the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism has also been manipulated by power structures to exert control. Currently, there is a fierce debate within the United States of America over immigration, including proposed policies that seek to restrict the very issue the Statue of Liberty evokes. The astrology chart often used for the Statue of Liberty features a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in Libra, fitting as the giant goddess is made from the Venusian metal copper. With the Statue of Liberty aligned so strongly with Jupiter in Libra, it makes sense that the national elections of 2016 with Jupiter in Libra will set the agenda for how the nation deals with immigration in coming years. In countries all around the globe, Jupiter’s presence in Libra will hopefully facilitate greater compromise that can do something positive about the immigration and refugee crises that have erupted.
Key Transits of Jupiter in Libra 2016-2017
As Jupiter moves across Libra, it will gain additional dignity when it enters its own bounds at fifteen degrees and then again when it crosses twenty degrees into the third decan of Libra it rules. Jupiter in the third face of Libra could be especially potent, as Jupiter’s rulership of the third decan signifies that there is a special quality of Jupiter to access here. Jupiter will enter the third face of Libra at the end of December 2016 and then leave it retrograde in March 2017 during the Venus retrograde in Aries. Jupiter will return to the third face of Libra in August 2017 just in time for a Total Solar Eclipse in Leo that will be visible and especially potent in the United States of America. Jupiter will remain in the third face of Libra until it enters Scorpio in mid October 2017.
Toward the end of 2016 we will enter the full phase of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle, as Jupiter will form an exact opposition on 26 December 2016 with Uranus. While the full phase is always about managing opposing desires for external relationships versus internal independence, this conflict will be further exacerbated by Jupiter being in the relationally oriented sign of Libra and Uranus being in the independently oriented sign of Aries. During this phase we will explore the full meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle that began in 2010, with support from a waning sextile formed within the Jupiter and Saturn cycle, and a disseminating trine formed between Saturn in Sagittarius with Uranus. The combination of Saturn in trine to Uranus, as Jupiter opposes Uranus and forms a sextile with Saturn, brings the potential to liberate our personal vision from the restraints of our past framework, restructuring essential elements of life in support.
However, in the dark far reaches of outer space awaits Pluto in Capricorn holding a significant challenge for Jupiter in Libra. Pluto in Capricorn will form a last quarter square with Jupiter for much of Jupiter’s time in Libra beginning in November 2016. As a result, Jupiter will re-connect the square between Uranus and Pluto in its aftermath, providing opportunities for social relationships and contracts to arise that remedy some of the fracturing that came about within the tectonic shifting of the square between Pluto and Uranus that was most strong from 2011 – 2015. Though Jupiter in Libra ideally signifies peace, there will no doubt be many great conflicts and disruptions that arise during this period that resonate with the issues which erupted in the global collective during the years of the square between Pluto and Uranus. At its best, Jupiter can inject its collaborative focus on social justice into the Plutonic power structures and systems during this period.
As previously mentioned, the Venus retrograde from March through April of 2017 will be one of the most disruptive periods of Jupiter’s time in Libra, as Jupiter will be under the influence of a rebellious Venus. As Jupiter’s time in Libra will be significant for the generations of people born with Pluto in Libra, Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Libra, Saturn in Libra, and Jupiter in Libra, the Venus retrograde in Aries will be extremely catalytic for those born with these planets in between zero and fourteen degrees of Libra, since Venus will move back and forth across these degrees in opposition through her retrograde movement. As a member of the Pluto in Libra generation, I am particularly curious about the impact of Jupiter’s transit through Libra on our generation, as we have come of age into greater access of power and responsibility, with greater capacity to make an impact with Jupiter conjoining our Pluto placements.
Carpe diem can be an overused motto, but truly Jupiter in Libra signifies a period in which to seize the day. Jupiter in the home of Venus can amplify and accentuate all of the elements of our life that bring pleasure, beauty, harmony, and joy. If you have been holding back in any way from attempting to make your life as extraordinary as possible, the ingress of Jupiter into Libra signals a time to expand the parameters of what you believe you can achieve and act accordingly.
BBC Radio. (2014). In Our Time: Culture. Kafka’s The Trial.
Kafka, Franz. (1925). The Trial. Translated from the German by David Wyllie.
Stein, Murray. (1998). Jung’s Map of the Soul. Open Court.