Jupiter, the bearer of gifts, luck, and fortunes, has just gone retrograde. It will be back-spinning until October 18th and will reach what is known as its “crisis point” on the 20th of August, when it opposes the Sun. It might be fun to nerd out a bit on the typical dynamics of a Jupiter retrograde, which we will all be experiencing for the next few months. But first, a few words on where and what lucky Jupiter has been up to recently.
It could very well be that you’ve felt more exuberance and enthusiasm in the past month or so. Perhaps more optimism? Maybe things have felt like they are going your way? For the astrologically inclined, one reason would be that we have been in a great Jupiter-in-Pisces transit since May 13th. Jupiter rules the free-flowing Fishes and, when it is at home in Pisces, we typically feel that boundaries and self-imposed strictures start to dissolve. It’s not surprising that the long-awaited easing of COVID restrictions has occurred during this Jupiter-in-Pisces transit.
What to expect from Jupiter Retrograde
But now Jupiter has started its retrograde trek for four months, during which it will move out of Pisces and into austere Aquarius. The helium-fueled elation of the past month is going to deflate dramatically, as Jupiter’s boisterous influence gets more and more shrink-wrapped. With this in mind, let's look a bit more at the general architecture of all Jupiter retrogrades.
Because the cosmos is nothing if not deeply patterned and regulated, the Jupiter retrograde always starts just after Jupiter has trined the Sun. A trine is when two planets are 120 degrees apart from each other on the zodiac wheel. A trine suggests cosmic harmony. A Sun/Jupiter trine, therefore, represents a kind of peak astrological experience as the Sun/Self and lucky Jupiter double up. During these moments, self-worth is super amplified, not just in terms of how one feels, but how the world feels. Confidence reigns. The stock market gets inflated. And, then, because nothing lasts forever, Jupiter moves backwards and all that magic halts.
For the next two months of the Jupiter retrograde, the planet moves further away from the Sun on the zodiac wheel, eventually reaching its “crisis point,” which, in this instance, will occur on the 19th of August. The “crisis point” is when Jupiter is in opposition (or 180 degrees) to the Solar centre. While the Sun/Jupiter sextile to start the retrograde was all milk and honey, the Sun/Jupiter opposition is more sour milk. Jupiter is at its weakest at this moment. Usually Jupiter bestows luck, but when it is at its “crisis point," this luck can transmute into life-events feeling merely random and haphazard. We may also feel emotionally alienated and depressed leading up to August 19th. Think of the crisis point, then, as the sad comedown after a great party.
The other astrological influences at work
So the basic contours of a Jupiter retrograde are four months, with the crisis point occurring mid-way. But it’s important not to think of the Jupiter retrograde (or any retrograde or any transit, for that matter) in isolation. What else is going on around this retrograde? Astrological context flavours whatever planetary interplay we are interpreting. In regard to this particular Jupiter retrograde, the fact that its “crisis point” occurs while Jupiter is in icy Aquarius is of particular interest. Why?
Jupiter is returning back to the sign of the Waterbearer (Aquarius) for unfinished business. This means a second chance to tie up any loose ends that may be hanging around from the start of the year. Aquarius is about collectivities, social networking, and friendship. Jupiter, in part, is associated with justice and fairness. As Jupiter moves toward its crisis point on August 19th, our focus should be on taking stock and re-evaluating our contribution to this area of our lives. Friendships or groups that are not balanced or in sync may fall away or naturally peter out. Jupiter moving from watery Pisces to airy Aquarius can also mean that the start of the retrograde cycle can feel disorientating but when it shifts into Aquarius (an objective air sign) we can get some hard facts or information. As Jupiter is retrograde, this may not be quite the information we hoped for.
What to remember
There is something liberating about knowing that there is always a new transit to look forward to—we are never stuck in cosmic place for long. If Jupiter retrograde in Aquarius doesn’t bode particularly well, take heart. Jupiter will gain more and more strength, as it moves toward Pisces, the sign it loves and rules, in December 2021. Then it’s all beach parties.