What the World Needs Now is Jupiter in Libra

Artist’s conception of details in the cloudcover over the surface of Jupiter.

Dear Friend and Reader:

When you look around at the world, and how so many people feel, you might get the idea that we could all use a little more balance and beauty. Our whole society, and indeed the world community, are straining for any sense of justice.

As everything around us seems to be pushed to some new extreme, and as taking becomes a way of life, we are all aching for some sense of equanimity: of goodwill, a bit of calm, some sense of mutuality. It’s a good thing, then, that Jupiter is about to ingress Libra. While it’s there, Jupiter will emphasize and help manifest all things related to this sign, or at least make them available for us to tap into.

Full view of Jupiter as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope, which is in a low-Earth orbit.

Jupiter quietly moves into Libra at 7:18 am EDT on Friday, Sept. 9. Jupiter spends about one year in each sign, taking about 11.9 Earth years to orbit the Sun once. It will spend 13 months in Libra, ingressing Scorpio on Oct. 10, 2017.

For reference, Jupiter was last in Libra from Sept. 24, 2004 through Oct. 25, 2005.

The largest of all the known planets, Jupiter is 1,200 times the size of Earth, and — contrary to astrological lore — its mass is denser than that of Saturn. Astronomically, it is Jupiter’s gravity that rules all the other bodies orbiting our Sun.

It establishes the orbits of all the other planets, and decides what bodies get to stay in the solar system and which ones get ejected. It’s so massive that the Sun wobbles in its orbit around the galaxy as Jupiter tugs it with its gravity.

A Cosmos of Its Own

Jupiter also serves a practical purpose as something that deflects stray asteroids, comets and meteors from hitting the Earth, since it draws anything passing by in its direction. With 67 natural satellites (which include bits of bypassing matter that have gravitated toward it over the eons), Jupiter is like a solar system of its own, a kind of microcosm.

Jupiter’s four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, were discovered personally by Galileo Galilei in early 1610 and were the first bodies discovered to be orbiting another planet.

Jupiter is the big boss of the solar system. This diagram illustrates the inner solar system. The Earth is close to the center. The white swarm is the main asteroid belt, just past Mars. Green swarms to either side of Jupiter are Trojans, or asteroids that follow Jupiter’s orbit.

(Notably, that same winter, he saw and recorded the movement of Neptune, but did not figure out that it was a planet. That, in true Neptune form, took astronomers another 236 years of trial and error. Neptune has a disappearing act, including the property of not noticing the obvious, mixed into its chemistry. Jupiter is the very obvious, in your face.)

Jupiter also has its own asteroid belt, consisting of two swarms of small bodies (the Greeks and the Trojans) that are essentially parked 60 degrees to either side of it, all of which follow Jupiter through its approximately 12-year orbit. The Hildas, also in that region, follow Jupiter at its polarity point.

In astrology, Jupiter’s placement symbolically sets the pace; for example, of fashion trends, which includes trends in the news (that great fashion show). I think that Jupiter represents something of the prevailing orientation that’s trendy and that ripples through the mental environment and the media.

Astrologically, Jupiter represents the principle of expansion. Someone — I wish I remember who — once said: imagine that Jupiter and Saturn are like the hands of God working at a potter’s wheel. The hand inside the pot pushing the clay outward is Jupiter. The hand outside the pot, supporting the structure and guiding the process of expansion, is Saturn.

One of two rose windows at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Jupiter, associated with Sagittarius, is a planet related to religion and mysticism. These become matters of relationship with Libra. Photo by Eric Francis.

Jupiter also represents what you might call the wisdom principle, associated as it is with Sagittarius and Pisces. These are signs that tend to serve as portals into what we think of as the spiritual realm: Sagittarius being the spiritual calling, often expressed through religion, and Pisces being the direct religious experience.

Additionally, Jupiter is about pleasure, indulgence and excess, which are not separate concepts from its more mystical callings. Jupiter grants access to what you might call the divine through art, wine, altered states of consciousness, music and any form of creativity. As a representative of Sagittarius, Jupiter also includes the concepts of long-distance travel, international culture, and the ideas we get from interacting with these things.

There’s one last often-overlooked connection: Jupiter is exalted in the sign Cancer. It’s like the alternative ruling planet to that sign, and as such is associated with the family brood, the homestead or household, and a generous kind of nurturing.

Jupiter: The Luck Factor

Basically, what we have is a planet that represents the good things in life, and which has a way of bestowing them if we enter a relationship with our desire, and are willing to receive. So far as Jupiter being something that bestows luck, I have one little story.

Reno, Nevada, where you pass through on the way in and out of Burning Man. It’s actually more of a cow town, resembling Vegas of the 1950s. It’s a genuinely interesting place. Photo by Eric Francis.

In 2001, Jupiter was crossing my Cancer ascendant. Late that summer, I headed to Reno for my first Burning Man festival.

I had clear intuitive guidance not to gamble on the way to Burning Man, but rather on the way home, which always involves a visit to Reno for decompression, the two-day shower and vacuuming off of camera gear.

My first night back in Reno, I was exploring the slot machines with my campmates. I am not much of a gambler, but I thought it would be worth experimenting for a few dollars. I think I set a $10 limit.

“Anybody psychic around here, and have a sense which of these things is ready to pay off?” I said out loud, half jokingly, strolling between the aisles, a bit bewildered by the noise and flashing lights like a little kid.

Then I tossed a quarter randomly into a machine and pounded the button. The bell went off — I had hit the jackpot. A minute later a guy in a black suit was standing in front of me with a cart and tax forms to sign, while I stood there laughing as he counted out money. That quarter turned into $1,200 (a 1:4800 payoff), which I turned into a new Macintosh computer and some art supplies for my then-girlfriend.

A few hours later, I went to do laundry, to wash the playa dust out of my clothing. Laundromats in Reno have gambling machines; you can practically bet on how long it will take your clothes to dry. On advice of the attendant, I played penny poker. I hit four aces and a queen on my first try, and that penny paid $25, that is, a 1:2500 payoff. I had hit two jackpots in one day, with Jupiter in its exaltation, in Cancer, in my ascendant (whilst on a long-distance trip to home away from home).

While we’re on the topic — Burning Man 2009. Photo by Eric Francis.

Now, in case you’re thinking that Jupiter just does this automatically, remember that I followed my own inner guidance and waited till after the festival to play, and I stayed within my budget. The whole thing had the feeling of a cosmic joke.

That said, Jupiter is indeed an invitation to push your luck a little bit, or to strive for what you might not be able to do ordinarily. To work with Jupiter, you have to count on having some protection.

Jupiter is an invitation to stretch your limits. It’s an invitation to take a risk on yourself. It’s an invitation to learn more, and to use what you discover. Stretch your abilities and perhaps bite off a little more than you can chew. As Marshall McLuhan once said, “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a metaphor?” (Say that out loud a few times, and pronounce it meta-for? to get the pun.)

Libra: Balance, Truth and Beauty

Libra is the sign of relationships, and Jupiter’s presence will emphasize how we relate to one another. The seventh sign of the zodiac, it’s the sign opposite “I am” Aries, and can be translated into “We are.”

When I think of Libra, I think of aesthetics, the branch of thought that addresses art, beauty and taste. Whatever Libra does, it does beautifully.

Libra is a study in balance, in beauty, and per Alice A. Bailey, the balancing act of sex. It’s the integration point between the male and female polarities. Photo from the Three Scorpios series by Eric Francis.

Libra, as the sign of the scales, is also associated with justice, though this is typically on the local or interpersonal level. You might say that Libra represents the lower or local courts, while Sagittarius represents the higher courts (national, international and maritime). Justice, or adjustment, involves placing things back into balance.

Alice A. Bailey picks up on this theme in Esoteric Astrology, taking it a few new places. “There is therefore the individual experience in Libra of the balanced life wherein experiment is made and the consequent tipping of the Scales in one direction or the other until desire or spiritual aspiration has balanced down sufficiently so as to indicate the way that the man must go at the time.”

That is, we’re learning how to make up our minds and make better decisions.

“There is the experience of humanity in Libra in which the same adjustments and experiments are being made, but this time the entire race of men is involved, not just the individual,” Bailiey writes. She describes the current point of crisis in Libra as an issue of individual desire, which she describes as an astral-plane function (rather than mental).

In other words, through some process in Libra, she describes what I would call the experience of cultivating emotional intelligence, which I attribute to Venus, the primary planet associated with Libra. She asserts that Libra is where we can transcend materially driven selfish ends, and essentially learn to work for the greater good.

Don’t panic, it’s just passion. Photo by Eric Francis.

“It is because of this balancing quality in Libra that this [sign] can be associated more spiritually with the problem of sex than can any of the others. Sex is usually connected in the mind of the average astrological student with the signs Taurus and Scorpio.” She gives a diversity of reasons for this, from her perspective.

“Esoterically, however, it is in Libra that the whole question comes up and will increasingly come up for answering, as it is in Libra that the balancing of the pairs of opposites must take place and reach solution through the activity of the judicial mind and the establishing of a balancing point of equilibrium between the male and female perspectives.”

She writes in long sentences, I know. What she’s saying is that Libra is integrally related to sex because it addresses the balancing point between the masculine and feminine orientations.

Part of what we need to re-balance is what she describes as the “narrow and bigoted Christian angle, as that is normally understood though not in the sense in which Christ viewed life. This narrow viewpoint and the normal Anglo-Saxon attitude (an outcome of the teaching of the Middle Ages) regards sex as unusually sinful, ever-undesirable and something to be lived down and overcome…hidden as a prurient mystery.”

Through Libra, she predicts that, “Sex will be seen eventually to be a proper and divine function and will then be safeguarded by right education of the young and the ignorant, and the right action of the young and the highly intelligent emerging generation.”

Libra is the balancing point between the male and female polarities in sex. It is a kind of cosmic mirror. Photo of Fae Speaker with Eric Francis.

That would be nice, though we can start now. We must teach our children, and teach one another, and we teach most effectively by embodiment and by example. We don’t need the kind of insane views that push everything and everyone off-kilter, except maybe to see and recognize that folly. Life is not a matter of all or nothing. There is always a balance involved, a process of integration, the blending of opposites into a new experience.

It has been said that all the facts in the world don’t add up to the truth. Jupiter in Virgo has demonstrated that a few ways, including how little specific facts and points of view matter to most people.

You might say that Jupiter in Libra is where all that data coming from Virgo actually adds up to something in a meaningful way. We could use a little, or a lot, more of this. We would benefit from more emphasis on beauty, on diplomacy, on sanity.

Remember that above all, Jupiter is an opportunity. Like the ‘use it or lose it’ trine aspect, Jupiter is something we must desire and reach for to have its benefits.


Short Monthly Horoscope for September 2016, #1116 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Belief is best used as a tool, rather than as a block against something else that might be true. You’ve seen the value of opening your mind to new possibilities. Keep reminding yourself how helpful this is. Notice when you run into an old idea about life that slows you down or discourages you, and then come up with some new possibilities. What you observe now, in the present moment, is far more useful than the ideas that others put into your mind long ago. Ask yourself honestly what is true for you, and use what you discover.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Good things are happening. It will help immensely if you let one lead to the next, rather than deciding something isn’t good enough. Some of what you want can lead to more of what you want. Appreciate the details. Let yourself have the kind of fun you want the most: the intelligent kind. You don’t crave mindless diversion; you crave mindful engagement with life, and that’s what’s calling you. You have a passionate mind, and learning quite nearly anything is for you on the highest order of pleasure. Yes, that officially makes you unusual, which is a beautiful thing.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You’re learning how not to be informed by your insecurities. They seem so certain of themselves — which is strange, since they’re describing uncertainty. That alone should make them suspect. One thing you’re being guided to do over and over is to avoid placing your self-esteem in the hands of others. It seems to work for a while, but people and their attitudes can be flaky. Your respect for yourself must be based on your opinion alone. Others may say things that make you feel better or worse, or they may say nothing at all. Your truth about yourself is in your hands.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You have something to say, but will others receive or understand you? There are a few ways to consider this. One is to be as clear as possible. Another is to decide you don’t really care. Another is to trust that you will reach whomever you need to reach. In an era of billionaires and starving artists, success is a concept worth evaluating and defining for yourself. You are poised for some unusual breakthrough in the coming months, and comparisons to others will not get you too far. In any definition of accomplishment, remember to include happiness and peace of mind.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You must be shrewder with money, and you can be. You have the natural intelligence to do so, though you must invest in yourself. When you spend a dollar or swipe some plastic, ask yourself how you benefit, and for how long. Ask yourself who else benefits. Self-investment rather than mere spending is cumulative, and the results are durable. This involves time as much as it does money. Slow down, consider what you want, and devote yourself to experiences that will enrich your humanity and have lasting value. You’re worth it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Don’t hesitate on a decision, especially if you know the right thing to do. You don’t need absolute certainty, nor is that really possible. This most likely involves a domestic matter. You might think that a choice made when you’re annoyed or irritated cannot be made well, though you might ask how many times you’ve been in this same position before during the past year or so. Sometimes you have to take action at the most obvious moment, move forward, and not look back or second-guess yourself. Your potential right now has more to offer than anything in the past.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You are the gathering point, the focus of your community. Handle that role graciously and without pretense. Your task may be social and may be visible, though it’s humbler than it might seem. As a benefactor, your role is to help people. As a magnet for group energy, your role is to help people get to know one another, and to get along. Resist any temptation to be judgmental, and say less rather than more. You’re likely to be called upon to help resolve a conflict, and it will help if you’re perceived as being genuinely neutral.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — A longstanding financial issue is coming to a head. When you make peace with certain limits you know exist, you will also begin to see your true potential. Think of restrictions and boundaries as things that you first acknowledge and honor, and then gradually figure out how to move beyond. You will benefit from greater attention to financial structure. From that you will discover that a measure of imposed order leads the way to greater economic freedom. You would benefit from the help of a guide, teacher or professional to help you get yourself organized.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You seem ready to outgrow a concept of yourself that has long been a point of frustration. Just remember your inner growth is not a revolt of a child against a parent. You are an adult, and that means keeping perspective, and acting in your own best interests. What you want seems to be exceeding what your current life will allow you to have, though you must surpass that limit gently and persistently. That means taking some tangible action every day, and giving yourself credit for having done so. One step and then another will dependably take you to the next stage of your life.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Mindfulness is the only way to learn from your fears, but they have something to teach you. The most important is pointing out places where you lack trust, be it in your own strength or in the universe to take care of you. Remind yourself regularly that you have the experience and the intelligence to guide your life, and to respond to any situation that might arise. This ongoing process is nothing less than the cultivation of actual faith in yourself. For you these days, the key to any door or puzzle is courage. A little goes a long way.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You’re only limited by what you think is possible. You would serve yourself well to challenge any concept about yourself or the world that effectively blocks your willingness to take action, or to make improvements in your life or your wider environment. However, possible does not mean easy, nor is there any guarantee of success. The closest you will come is really, truly wanting to accomplish something specific. Then even challenges can and must serve as inspiration and motivation. Focus your vision. Be clear about what you want to do, and you’re much likelier to make it happen.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Your success this month will come from a blend of unusual ambition (for a Pisces anyway) and a newfound ability to negotiate for what you want. In the civilized world, these are the two factors that usually get the job done. Yet you would be wise to distance yourself from any need for approval from authority figures. In fact you must become your own boss in every respect: manager, cheerleader and creative consultant. And remember that cooperation, not competition, is necessary for any truly beneficial progress. So take charge of yourself, and boldly foster an environment of cooperation.

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