And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars―Dale Wasserman. Man of La Mancha.
For those of us who tilt at windmills, for those of us who dream impossible dreams, the time has come to reach the unreachable stars. The journey may mean leaving the tender touch of our loved ones as the urgency of the call to adventure takes us to foreign lands. For some of us, the journey may be a painfully private struggle to slay demons of addiction or despair. For some of us, this journey begins with a kiss and continues as we bravely hold hands through these Dark Times of uncertainty.
Today is Thor’s Day. The Moon and Mercury accompany corpulent Jupiter into Sagittarius, his place of domicile and ease. The mood lightens as Jupiter rises gratefully, from the cool, still depths of watery Scorpio into the warm urgency of fire, igniting the possibility to reach the unreachable stars. Jupiter has returned Home, triumphant, singing “What a Wonderful World”.
The motif of The Journey will be emphasised as Jupiter travels through Sagittarius until December 3rd, 2019. How we prepare for that journey, what we take with us, what we leave behind. Journeys require attentive preparation, stamina and resilience as we meet the inevitable challenges along the way. For the next year, we will explore new places and new encounters, even if this Journey means we never leave home.
Jupiter in Scorpio accompanied the #MeToo movement, exposing predators, opening uncomfortable conversations. Today, we enter the symbolic realm of social, religious and moral issues. Jupiter in Sagittarius confronts us with a quest for truth and meaning, with the possibility to expand our horizons.
Jupiter is a complex symbol in astrology. Jupiter’s domain is long-distance travel, intercultural encounters, international activities. Jupiter’s unbounded exuberance is also associated with risk-taking, the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that reaches for the sky, sets the stakes high in casinos and on racing tracks, merrily rolls the dice over a lover’s tender heart. Jupiter sells aspirational dreams to the masses. Every day is Black Friday. Anything is possible. Bigger is always Better.
In the Norse, Greek and Roman pantheon, Thor/ Zeus/Jupiter were celestial sky gods. Supreme deities, elitist, autocratic. They dispensed moral and religious justice, yet from the earliest times these autocratic and self-indulgent gods were exempt from their own moral injunctions. On a whim, they bestowed good fortune, dispensed justice, and claimed Droit du Seigneur with impunity. Relentless optimism, brash bravado, and the cheery refusal to sweat the small stuff cast a long shadow. Overblown, indulgent, excessive, Jupiter’s vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself is evident in the grandiosity and entitlement of those who wield power. The kind of hubris that spurs invincibility, races onwards and upwards, without a backward glance. Over this next year, the excesses of the plutocrats, puffed-up politicians, and those autocrats we encounter in our neighbourhoods and offices, will seem more extreme. We may have to plan circuitous routes to avoid their overbearing presence. We may have to vote with our feet.
Zeus was also the protector of those who journeyed to far away lands, yet xenophobia is also part of this domain. For those hapless men, women and children, labelled “illegal aliens”, or migrant workers, or who simply don’t have the right-coloured passport, the right to remain will be emphasised by Jupiter’s journey through Sagittarius.
The Sun blazes confidently into
Sagittarius on November 22nd, inspiring Jupiter with optimism, perhaps the ability to find humour in those things that threaten to capsize our lives and roll us into the depths of despair. Sagittarius is the gypsy, the philosopher, the inspired visionary who sets off on a quest, perhaps impulsively, but with the kind of innocent faith in the kindness of strangers, certainly trust in a benevolent god. Jupiter in Sagittarius is the Pilgrim on life’s Camino. Jupiter’s journey has a single pointed vision, there is a sense of an arrow of certainty, a destination, a purpose, which differs from Mercury’s more fluid travels.
Ninety-one-year-old Dr Edith Eger’s new book, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, describes a journey of healing, of forgiveness and of faith. A journey that began in her family home, with her parents and sister, and ended at Auschwitz. Her mother’s words as they travelled have been an integral part of her healing and her work as a psychologist: “We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”
Edith’s journey of healing and faith epitomises another aspect of Jupiter’s domain: “I believe in the power of positive thinking—but change and freedom also require positive action. Anything we practice, we become better at.”
As demagogues dismember nations with hollow talk and empty promises, Mars—the planet associated with war and aggression—changes sign on November 16th, moving into Jupiter-ruled Pisces, swirling through the miasma of politics, perhaps strengthening our resolve to continue our quest amidst the noise of things falling apart, to practice becoming better at walking lightly on this earth.
On the same day, another eighteen-year cycle begins as the Nodes move into Cancer and Capricorn. These are harbingers of the eclipse season that begins on July 2nd, 2019. Cancer and Capricorn underscore motifs of security, home, safety and patriarchal power. Venus moves direct in Libra on November 17th, still in a tense opposition to Uranus which has slipped back into Aries for the very last time, offering opportunities to finalise what was begun in March 2011 when Uranus entered into Aries and squared Pluto.
Mars remains in sensitive Pisces until December 31st, and Mercury moves Retrograde on November 18th, apparently moving backwards through the sign of Sagittarius until it re-enters Scorpio for a few weeks between December 1st and December 13th, a reminder to be attentive to our thoughts, to make this journey a sacred thing.
Every quest, every journey, requires preparation. In these uncertain times, we may need to plot our journey with care.“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim,” poet Mark Nepo writes.
Over these next months, may we have the faith to dream the impossible dream, may we have the vision to accept those invitations that transform us, and may we walk with those fellow pilgrims on Life’s Camino, receptive and true to our own glorious Quest.
The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats―Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.
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