For me, the joy of practicing and writing about astrology is enhanced when there is an apparent set of contradictory principles that somehow need to be expressed. Often, I can ‘feel’ them, but the task of putting this ‘sensing’ into words is both daunting and fun. After all, life is lived by each of us amidst many different kinds of contradictions and hard to express facets.
Here are the specifics: After 4 months or so of Jupiter being retrograde in Gemini, on January 30th, the largest planet in our Solar system went direct at 6° of Gemini. Meanwhile, on February 18th, 2013, Saturn will turn retrograde at 11° Scorpio. When I’ve mentioned this to friends, some have sort of gasped with a mild depressed attitude that communicated the notion that ‘it seems like there’s always something holding me back.’ This can happen if we hold to the idea that Jupiter means expansion and growth, while Saturn only means that restriction, delay and frustration are what we must expect. So, let’s see if we can take a different look that allows for a better understanding of how these planets work together and more importantly how they can even assist us to develop both personally and in our everyday world.
With Jupiter turning direct, many people have already let me know that things are suddenly moving again and that new opportunities are beginning to appear. Some therapists have mentioned that their practice is expanding again. A contractor friend suddenly has more business than he knows what to do with. And, there is an increase in hope and faith that things might be getting better. In addition, Jupiter rules truth. The other side of the coin is that information about how badly a business is doing can just as suddenly become public. The truth of what has been known privately can no longer be hidden.
What can be helpful to recognize is that Saturn will not automatically stop Jupiter’s expansion. Saturn’s planetary force is not antagonistic to growth. A better way to see it is to understand that Saturn seeks to create some sort of structure or way in which something can begin to manifest. It wants to takes the expansion of Jupiter and discover ways to bring it into some kind of solid form.
Before I can talk about Saturn retrograde, I need to modify a common belief about retrograde periods. First of all, they are not mere inconveniences. They are actually quite necessary. Yes, retrograde periods are about review, contemplation, and investigation. But on a practical level, there is more to it than that. These periods are about reversing course in certain ways in order to find and then pick up missing pieces or steps. This is why they are necessary. If something is missing that we definitely need in order to move ahead, then we have to go back and pick it up. This part is simple, though, we may not know exactly what it is. The retrograde period first makes us aware of what it is and then we will know what action we need to take. For example, Jupiter rules education and understanding. So, during the last retrograde, we may have had to learn a new skill, get training in something, etc., before we would be able to take advantage of the coming opportunities.
On the heels of Jupiter going direct, the planet that seeks to give form to something (Saturn) asks us to look and see what is missing or to wait until this piece is revealed to us. This allows me to discuss the nature of the frustration we sometimes feel during a Saturn retrograde. Frustration is felt when we try to force something to happen when it cannot happen YET. It isn’t that it won’t happen. It’s a case of having to be patient because something is shifting, but we may not know yet what it is. Another possibility is that our original intention may need to take a different form than what we thought or hoped. The intention may be fine, even perfect, but the form it takes may have to change if it is to manifest in the world. These issues are revealed when Saturn is retrograde.
Right now, all of the planets are in direct motion. This means that whatever we can get to work on and accomplish, now is a good time to do it. Soon, we will be forced to come to grips with issues and problems that just cannot be fixed without a full, complete, re-evaluation of the structure of some area or project of our life. We are best served when we develop an attitude of optimistic patience as we wait for more information to come in so that we can clarify what we need to do in order to make something happen. The fact that Jupiter is creating conditions where new opportunities are emerging can be trusted. They are real. And any obstacles we are discovering right now are also real. It is Saturn that will tell us what we need to do about it. Saturn will go direct in early July, so we have about 5 months to work with Saturn’s reversals.
Some people believe that no new project should start when Saturn is retrograde. This ‘rule’ might be true in some cases, but there are important exceptions. If one is faced with little alternative to starting something new, then we might need to take it, even if there are limits. It doesn’t mean that new opportunities won’t appear later, including promotions. It will depend on what your abilities and training are. Saturn simply asks us to master something, to become an expert. I know better than most how that we want to have hard and fast rules. I wish it was so too. However, sometimes it just isn’t the case. Each situation we encounter must be seen and dealt with on a case-by-case basis.