Jupiterian Aspects and Practices: Enhance Your Expansive Nature
Planetary transits signify shifts in our energy, awareness, and life circumstance. So, obviously, it can be helpful to have tools with which to navigate the cosmic weather. There is a lot we can do to work consciously and holistically with planetary themes and energies, inviting these into our embodiment for growth, discovery, and self-care. The first step is knowing the nature of the transiting planet and how it is activating our chart—the better to discover how to support ourselves during these times.
[Note: This series is for entertainment and inspirational purposes only, and not intended to replace licensed medical care.]
At a Glance
Jupiter Transits: 1 year in each sign
Keywords: abundance, opportunity, expansion
Movement: stretching and flexibility to make more space in the body, yogic twists to wring out and cleanse liver, new experiences
Meditation: take the opportunity that is opening for expansion and growth, express higher values and learning, expand into new territory in mind and in travel, connect with a guru/teacher and belief in a higher purpose or self, be reunited with joy, gratitude, balance optimism with practicality
Medicine: Liver support and clearing with dandelion root tea, lemon balm for digestion, fennel for gas or bloating, take care to balance alcohol and cholesterol intake when indulging in abundance (liver maintenance)
Jupiter is the planet of benevolence, truth, optimism, and expansion. It represents gurus, teachers, our highest aspirations, and how we connect with a sense of spirituality. Our natal Jupiter placement speaks volumes about our personal relationship with optimism and joy. Are we naturally ebullient and enthusiastic (fire signs), emotionally expressive and expansive (water signs), endlessly social and curious (air signs), or practical, stable and masters of calculated risk (earth signs)? Considered a yang, active, hot, and moist planet, Jupiter supports health, fertility, activates our energy and wondering, and can indicate how well we bounce back after a physical and emotional challenge in life.
Jupiter rules over two signs in the zodiac: mutable fire sign Sagittarius by day and mutable water sign Pisces by night. It also has an exalted place in Cancer. Through Sagittarius, Jupiter’s expansion and optimism are expressed in an outwardly seeking, philosophical, and questing character. These are the great teachers and students of life, often bold orators that can speak their authentic truth in public. Their fiery nature allows them to assert bold opinions, and they rarely have patience for falseness and timidity.
In Pisces, Jupiter’s expansiveness and optimism are turned inward to the receptive, introspective plane, making its natives compassionate, contemplative, deeply spiritual and imaginative. Often in self-sacrificing roles, as healers or teachers, those with Jupiter in Pisces help guide and inspire the world to connect with a higher sense of purpose. In Cancer, Jupiter’s benevolence combines well with this nurturing water sign, creating the potential for an especially just and protective character. All of the signs that are in the opposite positions in the zodiac from the ones mentioned (ex. Gemini, Virgo, and Capricorn) tend to have challenges with Jupiter’s optimistic forces, either by these being difficult to focus (Gemini) or difficult to trust and express (Virgo and Capricorn).
Jupiter, being a hot, expansive, active planet, tends to amplify our optimism. We may feel overcome with an urge to reach for our highest potential and to take a great risk that will challenge us to grow into new frontiers and realize our highest aspirations. Jupiter loves to say “yes,” so we may find ourselves in a more affirmative mode, taking on more study, travel, and work that allows us to explore new opportunities.
Jupiter goes retrograde once a year for just over three months, extending Jupiter’s stay in the sign it is transiting for a whole year. During this lengthy retrograde period, Jupiter’s forces of expansion, opportunity, and optimism can be stalled. It is a time to go back into redoing and refining a large undertaking, to examine with more depth our sense of vision and evaluate if we are honoring our highest values and purpose. We can look to the sign and house that Jupiter is backtracking in our charts to understand what topics and themes will be emphasized. The potential for confusion, disorientation, and frustration that is typical to retrogrades can pop up, but since Jupiter’s backward momentum is much more gradual, the issues can be managed carefully over a longer time span. It is potentially less abrupt and disruptive, giving us more space to process and integrate the new insights and perspectives that will likely emerge.
Conjunctions are the most direct and potent, infusing the personal planet or point with the strongest Jupiterian energy. Conjunctions from Jupiter highlight a lucky opportunity, reconnect us to our joy, or indicate an important meeting with a teacher or mentor. Sometimes, Jupiter’s conjunctions can highlight an opportunity to act as a teacher or mentor ourselves. Typically, these conjunctions stoke our optimism, and set our gaze on grand vistas.
Squares and Oppositions tend to catalyze and expand Jupiter’s matters. Jupiter is typically helpful, but squares can cause Jupiter’s energy to proliferate excessively, causing conflicts that arise from over-indulgence or by taking unrealistic risks. Optimism is emphasized—however, it is often based on being overextended in false confidence. Some care is needed to navigate these passages with awareness and discipline. Oppositions are also potent and catalyzing, calling on us to contend with events and interactions that are getting out of hand. It could be that we come head to head with a matter or a person that is teaching a lesson on managing Jupiter’s big, buoyant energy. Squares and oppositions from Jupiter could highlight passages where it will take a little work and practicality to harness and realize our ideals.
Trines and Sextiles tend to be more supportive and conduct Jupiter’s powerful forces into constructive channels. Trines can indicate ease when taking advantage of opportunities. Sextiles are also helpful and easy, a time when we find less obstruction and more collaboration when moving forward in our growth and expansion.
Movement: Grounding and Embodying Jupiter’s Energy
As Jupiter is all about expansion, any physical practice that encourages us to find more space and ease in our body can feel uplifting and inspiring. Try a yoga practice with less emphasis on athletic endurance and more emphasis on stretching, releasing tension, and breath and body movement flowing as one. In yoga, poses that incorporate twists not only help to promote spinal flexibility, but also “wring out” our digestive organs, encouraging these to flush and detoxify. Gentle, therapeutic squeezing and compression in yogic twists stimulates fats to clear from the liver, our prime Jupiterian organ, and releasing from the twist allows blood to flow back in to cleanse and purify. Physical practices that we explore during Jupiter transits can be actually expanding, stretching movements, but may also be activities where we transcend limiting ideas about our capabilities. Try a new form of exercise or movement that may put you out of your comfort zone, to enter new frontiers of experience. This could be taking your yoga practice off the mat, into an expansive, outdoor setting, or maybe take some time off work to hike a remote scenic trail or try a cultural dance class to open yourself to other traditions and beliefs. Focus less on being perfect in your performance, or on meeting a strict fitness goal, and take time to be in the moment, to enjoy the journey.
Meditation itself can be an exploration in transcending boundaries, opening us up to inner facets of ourselves that we may miss in our regular, structured lives. Sitting down to breathe deeply and expand our breath capacity, can be calming and centering. Turing our awareness inward, we can focus on a sense of spaciousness within, spaciousness around our reactions, habits, and responses that we may think are ingrained. Take time to identify with the parts of yourself that are peaceful and enduring and visualize your highest values and aspirations. Start to identify less with your shortcomings and more with your best self. Tune into what inspires you, what uplifts you, what brings you the most joy, and start to imagine that anything could be possible if you simply change your approach or perspective. Jupiter, also called the greater benefic in classical astrology, loves to say yes—yes to life, yes to possibility, yes to insight and inspiration. Have a look at your habitual responses. Are there times where you could be saying yes to life more? Jupiter transits often bring us in contact with spiritual teachers, or mentors, so use these times to surrender to the guidance of a trusted, benevolent advisor to help guide you into new growth or insight.
The main organ system connected to Jupiter is the liver, and the way it cleanses our blood and processes fats in our diet. Liver support is important to manage during active Jupiter transits, since during these times we often feel celebratory, and may be eating rich food or imbibing in alcoholic drinks. All of these are hard on the liver, which may be sensitized already from stress, lifestyle factors or astrological transits. Liver support and cleansing with dandelion root tea as a coffee substitute can work wonders on managing our cholesterol, hormones and exposure to environmental toxins. Lemon balm tea, another Jupiter herbal, can be excellent to promote digestion and calm anxiety, and fennel tea can help calm gas or bloating.
Art by Debbie Stapleton