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Q: Hi Kelly, I'm wondering if you can explain the reason Jupiter has changed signs? I thought it stayed in one sign for 12 months at a time. Thanks! C
A: I sure can! Each planet, other than the Sun and Moon, has what’s called a retrograde cycle. This means that rather than moving forward at a steady constant speed, from our perspective here on earth, planets appear to speed up, slow down and even change direction (move in reverse).
It’s due to this shift in speed and retrograde cycle that planets sometimes move into and out of signs a bit off from the average cycle.
Jupiter takes just under 12 years to make one complete revolution around the Sun. As part of this longer around-the-Sun cycle, we talk of Jupiter spending about 12months in each Zodiac sign. In truth, Jupiter generally spends a little less than 12 months in each sign – and when Jupiter does, it’s not necessarily in one continuous stint.
For instance, Jupiter moved into Pisces on 18 January 2010 and stayed there until 6 June 2010, when Jupiter moved into Aries. Jupiter actually goes retrograde in Aries today (23 July 2010) and will move back into Pisces on 10 September 2010. Jupiter will then stay in Pisces from September until 22 January 2011. All up, Jupiter is in Pisces about 10 months – but not 10 consecutive months.
Jupiter is in Aries 6 June 2010 – 10 September 2010, and then again from 22 January 2011 – 4 June 2011 – all up, about 9 months, again broken into two different chunks of time.
Understanding planetary cycles can be a bit technical, but it can help to know why things are happening a little less predictably than what you think!