Jupiter in Taurus: Enjoying Basic Pleasures

6.7.11


Well, that was fast. Or so it seems. I feel like I was just writing about Jupiter's arrival into Aries (which occurred back in January), and now he's already made it to Taurus, as of this past Saturday (Jun 4)?

To be precise, Jupiter also spent three months in Aries during the middle of last year before retrograding back into Pisces, bringing his total 2-part transit through Aries to 7 months (still a 'quickie' for Jupiter). But that is all now yesterday's news.

Today, it's all about Jupiter in Taurus, a yearlong transit of the growth-inspiring planet of opportunity through the earthiest of the earth signs… an influence that returns our attention to the essential building-blocks of a materially stable and satisfying life. After a whirlwind Aries-quickened first-half of '11, Jupiter's kind-hearted reminder to shore up the basics—both out of practical need and personal pleasure—should prove a welcome priority-straightening presence.

At its best, Jupiter in Taurus delivers a boost in our ability and desire to enjoy the uncomplicated pleasures at our disposal: delicious food, warming drink, tender touch, sense-nourishing art. Taurus plays to our physical faculties with its simple earthy rewards, seeking out these most tangible symbols of bodily prosperity, in order to root us in the timelessness of our human experience.

As far back as we can go in history, people have relished in these same pleasures. Food and drink, sensual and artistic expression can serve as great leveling factors. Only the barest amounts of wealth—money, land and/or labor—are needed to procure a good meal, or the makings for some decorative form or adornment. (And carnal delights: usually free of charge.) Their benefits are immediate and obvious. They brighten lives across the divide of cultural differences, those abstract identity-disguises that obscure our fundamental commonality.

Taurus: 'salt of the earth', a consistent lack of pretension, allowing one to connect with any other individual, through sharing these valued basics. Taurus is nothing if not consistent.

Jupiter's presence here is an invitation to consciously invest our energies in appreciating what we possess, especially as it affords us direct access to the joy in being materially taken care of. During this time of heightened economic challenge for many of us, we can too easily slip into fruitless yearnings for all that's out of our grasp. Yet, as long as we have safe shelter for the night, something in our bellies, and a reassuring hug from a loved one, aren't we secure for one more day? And more than that: If this is all we have, how delicious is that bowl of soup! how sweet that single glass of wine tastes! how crucial our bond with that special person! Stripped down to essentials, each and every morsel and sip, bright color or fuzzy fabric, shining face and soft set of lips… oh, how they matter so intensely! What else could be so important?

Of course, as with all things Jupiter-related, there's always the looming threat of excess… and it's a very slippery slope from (1) appreciating our material resources, and the simple pleasures they buy us, to (2) overindulging a materialistic decadence, to the detriment of our physical and/or economic health. Just as a tasty treat or an object of beauty can release us from self-blinding preoccupation with our stressors, by reminding us of the core fundamentals, we can easily go too far in valuing these things… and turn ourselves into compulsive eaters, heavy drinkers, shopaholics or superficial snobs who lord our make-of-car and brand-of-clothing over others. Dare we identify too closely with the material, we begin to believe we are what we have—and judge others by the same standards.

To draw most healthfully from Jupiter-in-Taurus's accentuation of the material, we must thoroughly savor what we've got, but only to a level of satisfaction that neither taxes our bodily tracts nor empties our wallets. We must be on the lookout for outbreaks of gluttony and sloth… striving to be sincere about what we really need to consume, and continuing to balance it out by remaining productive. And we must stay modest in our displays of wealth, never rubbing the noses of the less-fortunate in our blessings. Better yet, we may share the extra, using our abundance as a means both to foster meaningful exchanges with others and to help level an uneven playing-field.

Jupiter has appeared in Taurus at a moment when the gap between the haves and the have-nots has never been larger (at least here in the USA)… and, as a result, this transit holds the potential to exacerbate the palpable tensions between the classes. Those who lack bread aren't likely to find solace in the suggestion they instead eat cake, any more than the unemployed become motivated by the implication their joblessness is their fault (due to some imagined laziness or overreliance on government 'benefits'?), while their former salaries are scooped up by the top 1% as further bonuses and dividends. A small, but highly visible, slice of lucky-duckies are pigging out on this feast while Rome burns, shoving their faces and cramming their pockets full of the last gobs before the spigot dries up. Jupiter in Taurus only tempts them further onward in this bald-faced grab.

During his time in Taurus, Jupiter forms an obliging trine to Pluto in Capricorn (exact three times between July 2011 and March 2012), easing the continued accumulation of resources and wealth for those who already have a solid-footing grasp of the game. Especially for those with strong earth-sign placements in their charts, this Jupiter-Pluto trine serves as helpful support for all sincere efforts to build steadfastly, industriously toward enduring goals. Signals of progress could show up more quickly or strikingly than expected, though shouldn't be seen as an excuse to ease up.

At the same time, Jupiter's expansive energies will likely drive prices up, too, as the economic value of goods (Taurus) are impacted by this planet of increase and inflation. Along with the potential opportunities to reap more money, so looms the simultaneously possibility that money will also slip through our fingertips in larger amounts. Not too big a deal for folks who have plenty; the difference between staying above water and starting to sink for those who are just squeaking by.

Thanks to this trine, I cannot separate Jupiter-in-Taurus's interpretive effect from the larger story of Pluto in Capricorn—a deep, painful, and hopefully cathartic transformation in how we manage and administer our collective resources. And Pluto likewise cannot be viewed distinct from its lengthy brawl with Uranus in Aries, hinging on seven exact squares between 2012 and 2015, that pits the crude revolutionary zeal of the individual (Uranus) against power-players who are rightfully resistant to giving up their command (Pluto).

Leading us up to the first exact Uranus-Pluto square, Jupiter's trip through Taurus bloats Pluto's position in the faceoff. We mustn't forget Taurus is a sign that typically favors conservatism and tradition over too-much-too-soon changes in any direction. Taurus is known to rely on 'common sense', which is often just another way of advocating for 'the way it's always been done'. One might, therefore, presume this Jupiter-in-Taurus period will accentuate the ways in which our existing economic system continues to consolidate power and wealth in the hands of those who already possess it… potentially worsening its unfair grip over the rest of us (or merely making it that much harder to overlook), right as we hit the core of this revolutionary Uranus-Pluto epoch, its clashes exploding into view.

And yet, we're reminded, even as we approach the eye of this radical storm, the unchanging worth of a basic earthly comfort can still satiate our hunger. On this exceedingly bumpy segment of the ride, we've got to draw our reassurances from every minute we're not in dire need. We sit down at the table, hold each other's hands, express our gratitude, and break bread together. We gaze at the blue sky, the big beautiful trees, the unimaginably many creatures and creations that cross our path. For this single moment, everything is perfect just as it is.

Jupiter remains in Taurus through June 11, 2012, moving into Gemini just two weeks prior to the first exact square between Uranus and Pluto.