Jupiter in Libra: Opening to the 'Other Side'


Today (Sep 9), Jupiter leaves Virgo behind… and enters Libra, the sign of the scales, where it'll stay through October 2017.

This is the year's only sign-change among the slower-moving planets, and, as such, is a major headline during this 'big pivot of 2016' we're currently experiencing.

Jupiter shifts into a new zodiac-zone once a year, opening up that sign's qualities to an expansion of possibilities which previously hadn't been so accessible or imaginable. Jupiter is, after all, traditionally referred to as the 'greater benefic'… the bounty-bestowing planet that eases our ability to increase the size and/or importance of a given consideration or energy-investment, to grow beyond prior identity-limitations into a bigger, fuller version of who we wish to be.

I think of Jupiter's role (when used most effectively) as the remover of blinders we maybe didn't even know we'd been wearing. The wider-angle perspective reveals itself, exposing broader pastures and more distant horizons we hadn't discovered before now. Old confines don't seem as confining, now that we can see past them.

In Libra, Jupiter permits us to better perceive the proverbial 'other side' of any equation, relationship, or concern. Symbolized by the scales, Libra continually weighs one observation or idea against another, fostering dialogue between contrasts, with an eye toward attaining the fairest win-win deals for all parties involved. Libra seeks the most elegant, harmonious forms of agreement… both as a means of cultivating courteous interpersonal relationship and in order to diminish the potential for conflict or upset. (Libra is ruled by Venus, after all.)

Jupiter's presence in Libra brings a welcome reemphasis on overt interactivity, then, following Jupiter-in-Virgo's heightened close-focus engrossment in whichever self-designated 'important details' were right in front of our own faces (at the potential expense of our even noticing much else).

Jupiter's arrival in Libra also marks the first occupation by an outer-planet of an air sign in more than three years, helping us to reintegrate this absent element back into the general astro-backdrop during these months ahead. Air is the metaphoric element of intellectualism and sociability, those mental and personality-driven abstractions which allow us to gain some distance from our immediate ego-experience. 'Aerial' views lift us out of the direct action, placing us 'above' the scene so we may describe and discuss what's going on without being so 'in' it. A 'breezy' attitude invites us to bat around concepts and concerns with a certain detachment from our impulses or emotions. When we are overwhelmed by our utter immersion in life, a practice of deep breathing can help re-center us in spaciousness.

At its best, Jupiter in Libra serves as this much-needed 'breath of fresh air'… encouraging us to carve out room to think twice, to take in others' opposing views, to mull over the various alternatives, to talk through their respective virtues, and to seek peaceful resolutions. Interjecting this pause to 'breathe' could save us from acting in short-sighted ways that disrupt some other life-facet we neglected to consider, dishonor or harm another person, and/or otherwise upset our equilibrium.

But just like any astrological placement has its dark side (yes, even a 'benefic'), Jupiter in Libra could enable us to go too far in comparing our options, conferring with others about every last concern, or compromising our preferences or principles so as to keep the peace and/or keep others happy. Jupiter is indeed prone to excess and exaggeration… and in Libra, there's a definite threat of our overemphasizing the value of smooth relational dynamics (even if major disagreements lurk beneath the pleasant surface), devoting much attention to avoiding conflict, at the expense of authenticity and/or legitimate progress.

Jupiter in Libra can get us so wrapped up with covering all our bases and/or pleasing everybody—or at least attempting to do so, by anticipating each potential bump and moving to neutralize it before it causes disharmony—we become caught in indecision, having lost the clarity of our own personal desires.

When factoring in Jupiter-in-Libra's general qualities as part of the larger planetary picture during these coming months, however, I think it's somewhat unlikely we'll experience too much of the excessively compromising, harmonious, or indecisive flavor of this transit. That's because Jupiter will be noticeably reactivating the generation-defining, socially-destabilizing, radical-breakthrough square between Uranus and Pluto, an aspect which was in full effect from 2012 through 2015 (check out the links included in this article for lots of info)… and which had such a powerfully formative impact on our now-transfigured landscape, we're still trying to understand, integrate, and/or bounce back from it.

Though their square's last exact peak was eighteen months ago, Uranus and Pluto will return to within a 3-degree orb of squaring each other over these next few months. At the same time, Jupiter will form hard aspects to both outer-planet heavyweights—an opposition to Uranus in Aries, and a square to Pluto in Capricorn—three times each before wrapping up its trip through Libra later next year.

Along with Uranus and Pluto, Jupiter will now occupy a cardinal sign while in Libra… tempering the flavor of 'in-betweenness' associated with the most-recent accentuation of the mutable quality by the outer planets (i.e., both Saturn and Neptune have also been in mutable signs throughout Jupiter's time in Virgo), and once again emphasizing the seasonal tone of fresh-starts and initiatory-actions associated with the cardinals.

Jupiter-in-Libra's hard aspects to Uranus and Pluto will provide some of the biggest astrological headlines of this next year. Though its sign-influence encourages us to inject fresh-breath fair-mindedness and conciliatory consideration into our handling of important life-matters, Jupiter's main archetypal purpose is to make things bigger—and its clashes with Uranus and Pluto threaten to exacerbate the ongoing tension between our radical individualistic bustings-out (Uranus) and the deep-reaching reconsolidations of entrenched authority (Pluto).

Jupiter's square to Pluto could conceal crafty power-moves beneath a veneer of justice-and-equality rhetoric, and/or worsen the waffling indeterminacy that allows despotism to take firmer root. Jupiter's opposition to Uranus (arguably the more dramatic of the two aspects) could actually intensify the hard-line extremism amidst those iconoclasts and revolutionaries insisting on 'something different' right now, at any cost. Though Jupiter in Libra might presumably try to strike a cooperative bargain in this standoff, Uranus in Aries is just as likely to scorn the gesture as 'selling out'… and may even attack such peacemaking efforts (whether sincere or not) as 'everything that's wrong' with the status-quo, so fuck it all. From this angle, Jupiter-in-Libra's air may simply further fuel the Uranus-in-Aries fire.

Though Jupiter in Libra does offer us an opening for increased thoughtfulness, more deliberate weighing of alternatives, and greater interpersonal consideration, any interpretation of its likeliest imminent expressions cannot be divorced from these Uranus and Pluto hard-aspects (which you'll undoubtedly hear more about from me in future writings). If we mindfully deploy Jupiter-in-Libra's assistance, we can become that much more thorough in our decision-making process, gracious in our receptivity to other outlooks, and fair in our behavior toward others. However, should those tendencies in us prove less sincere or conclusive, they may instead arouse an eruption of reactionary response that forces us to make decisions and get real.

Jupiter squares Pluto for the first time on November 24, then opposes Uranus on December 26. Jupiter remains in Libra through October 10, 2017.