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From Dissatisfaction to Action: Jupiter Retrograde in Virgo 2016

Mercury accompanying his father, Jupiter, on a Journey; image from
Journeys Through Bookland: A New and Original Plan for Reading
Applied to the World's Best Literature for Children, copyright 1922;
via Wikimedia Commons.

When planets turn retrograde, they change faces. All of the inner planets that turn retrograde (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) have dual rulerships; they’re associated with two tropical zodiac signs. When a planet turns retrograde, it changes the flow of energy in the quadrant of the horoscope that the planet is currently moving through. Looked at another way, the face of that planet switches from the archetype of one sign association to the other.

Jupiter has a resonance (or rulership) with the signs Sagittarius and Pisces. Their common planetary ruler gives them a common ground, but these two signs are also in direct tension via the square (90 degrees) relationship to one another in the zodiac. The tension arises from the extroverted quality of Sagittarius and the introverted nature of Pisces. Their common ground arises from their shared mutable modality—they both carry qualities of flexible adaptability to a changing environment. Both signs are better equipped to “go with flow” and cultivate spontaneity.

But Sagittarius, a fire sign, is an archetype of active seeking and questing “out there” in the world while Pisces symbolizes a psychic impulse to withdraw through meditative or “inward” forms of perception. So, Jupiter’s transit through any sign or house in our horoscope will correlate with either the Sagittarian (active, extroverted expression) or the Piscean (passive, introverted expression) archetypes. Virgo correlates with gaining competence and skill through experience and you can do that in an extroverted or introverted way. 

Virgo is classically considered to be Jupiter’s place of detriment—it is a sign which has qualities quite foreign to Jupiter. Thus, Jupiter’s transit through this sign can feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable in the sense that Virgo’s attention to detail and practical realities are counter to Jupiter’s expansive, big picture perspective as well as its lofty, spiritual idealism. However, when worked with consciously, this transit symbolizes a time where you can make certain ideals practical and useful, and how you can work to make your daily routines more interesting or better-rounded. Both archetypes, though conflicting, have much to teach and acquire from each other.

So, Jupiter’s dual expression impulses us to either actively seek opportunities for growth and new experience or to turn inward and receive guidance or inspiration from within. Jupiter is changing faces, and it is going to correlate with the changing face of Jupiter within you. If you have some advanced knowledge of transits through the houses of your horoscope, then look to where Jupiter is currently stationing (where it is stopping to turn backwards in the sign of Virgo). If you know roughly where Virgo falls in your horoscope, you’ll have more information about how this will manifest for you.

So, from Jan. 7 to May 9 of this year, your inner Jupiter will switch from an extroverted to an introverted expression or vice versa. There are times when you are settled with what you have or what you have accomplished, but over time, you become bored and dissatisfied and desire some new experience. That is always a response to your inner Jupiter when it moves from its introverted to its extroverted expression. Conversely, there are times when you are out accomplishing or experiencing much and you need to retreat and recharge your soul.

Check in with yourself. Do you need to step back a bit and do some soul-searching, or do you need to seek a new opportunity that will enhance your life and free you from those daily routines that have outlived their usefulness for your greater purpose? And remember that at the heart of evolutionary astrology, is the understanding that the choice is always yours to make. Your desires and impulses for change are only suggestions from your soul from which the self must choose to respond.


But, as Carl Jung so succinctly stated, “When an inner process is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate”. If you feel like the life is being sucked out of you from something, Jupiter always arrives to renew your passion either through inward soul recharging or the outward seeking of new adventures. And dissatisfaction is always how Jupiter initially presents itself. To avoid the sometimes unpleasant or uncomfortable fate, this may be a time to discover the source of your dissatisfaction and to do something about it.