by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This is the year (2009) in which I am experiencing my sixth Jupiter Return. I’m really getting a handle on experience. My window on the past is getting bigger and bigger, my brain is still working, my eyesight and hearing are just fine, and I can report factually on what it is like to experience six Jupiter returns. After all, I have studied metaphysics for forty years and astrology 36 for years, so I just might have some unusual or not easily accessed information that could give astrologers and students an insider’s view.
What is a Jupiter return? Each planet has an individual cycle governed by the length of its orbit. Mars has a two-year orbit, Jupiter has a twelve-year orbit, Pluto has a 248-year orbit, etc. In its natural cycle, Mars can return to its natal position in anyone’s chart every two years. Saturn returns every 29 years, and Jupiter with a twelve-year orbit is our subject return. At the time a transiting planet return to its natal position, the person represented by that chart experiences a sort of a cosmic rebirth as new energy is introduced into the equation that is a human being. The sign and degree remain the same, but there is an infusion of new energy with an implied new beginning or seeding similar to the concept of a New Moon. For this analogy the natal position takes the place of the Sun and the transit takes the place of the much speedier Moon. Think… a “new beginning” moment of a familiar energy – in this instance, Jupiter.
I was born in 1938 with Jupiter at 22 Aquarius 38 in my 9th house. Jupiter rules my 7th (Sagittarius) and co-rules my midheaven (Pisces). I will be 71 years old on Halloween. This particular (sixth) Jupiter return began mid-April of 2009 and culminates on December 12. Jupiter’s orbit is 11.88 years, not quite an even twelve, and that oddity does add up over time, so age 71 and not 72 is the year of my return.
An article on Jupiter and its effects by Tampa astrologer Hiroki Niizato on the Holistic Astrology Blogspot stimulated my mental juices, and I wondered what each return had meant for me over the 71 years of my life, sort of a personal journey of Jupiter returns. I sketched out the year of each Jupiter return and then jogged my memory for the events or happenings at those points in time. After I had done all that out of personal curiosity, I then thought it could be an example that would be useful for other astrologers, particularly students, to have an accurate, specific history of anyone. I did post my rough findings as a comment to Hiroki’s article. I’ve learned more since then.
Age 12, 1950: I was on stage, singing and dancing as a 40s to 50s Hollywood child star hopeful. I was reasonably good and won a lot of contests during this transit. My mother (10th house parent) was a typical 40s stage mother. She designed, choreographed, made costumes, arranged training and competition; she was my boss as well as my parent. My little sister and I sang and danced in tandem (7th of partners). To a small-town country girl from upstate New York on the Vermont border, this was pretty heady stuff. I received recognition in the local newspapers (9th), small prizes, even competed for Ted Mack Amateur Hour (ancient predecessor to American Idol).
Age 24, 1962: Wife, mother of three, major move of household, marriage trauma/drama. I was very much into my 7th house at this point in my life as all young wives were (and still are). I was too involved with my family to get caught up in the flower power movement of the 60s. My third (9th house) child was born. Lots of marital trauma/drama culminated in a major move across state lines.
Age 36, 1974: Remember the marital trauma/drama? Skip twelve years forward and I was a single mother of four, working a full time job, going to trade school to better our circumstances and our future. This was a very social period, single in the 70s, lots of disco dancing, no tattoos (just saw an email of an aging but once gorgeous hippy lady covered in tattoos). Thank God I didn’t do it.
Age 48, 1986: Head of metaphysical/astrological school, church, teacher, national speaker, writer, professional astrologer and reader. I don’t think you get more 9th house, Aquarian, Sagittarian, Piscean, 10th house than that! And as if that were not a good enough illustration, my midheaven (10th) co-ruler, Neptune, is in my 4th and for a time I even lived in my spiritual center (or perhaps my career lived in my house).
Age 60, 1997-8: I was retired from the metaphysical/astrological world, but maintained private clients, adopted several students as spiritual children, did lots of mentoring, and started assembling all that teaching material and experience into potential books. I was also the business manager for my daughter’s international sports magazine, associate editor, columnist, worked with writers, photographers, coaches, and athletes world-wide, plus international competition venues. During some of that time I also worked with and for a friend who happened to be an international publisher of business books and business management. That’s 9th, 10th, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Aquarius all mixed together.
I have now arrived at this year’s Jupiter return (sixth) that began in mid-April, and have just experienced the Jupiter direct on October 13th which will culminate on December 12, 2009. This time Jupiter is not alone, it has company. Jupiter is conjunct Neptune and they are performing a great cosmic dance in the sky directly on my natal Jupiter. This year has been a merry ride and I am really hoping for a great conclusion and application in my life, but so far it has been mostly confusing. You don’t suppose that Neptune could confuse anything do you?
Age 71, 2009: I have just published my book Presidents of Hope and Change as this Jupiter/Neptune conjunction transits natal Jupiter in the 9th house. I think it is entirely appropriate that my natal Jupiter is conjunct the USA Moon within two minutes (Virgo rising chart) since my book is about the USA and its presidents. At the moment I have four other books in some stage of production, a second book on the presidents, a serial killer research study, an astrological teaching technique, and a soup cookbook (I make great soup!). I have Gemini rising, so I never do one thing at a time. Writing!
As I finished this last section, a stray thought hit me. I have to be careful of stray thoughts. They tend make my articles quite long! If Neptune is influencing this particular return, then what about the other five returns? Time to look at my ephemeris.
1950: Jupiter made a single pass, unlike the current triple conjunction that stretches the time of its effect. Venus was close but not conjunct.
1962: Another single pass, with Mercury and Mars close but not conjunct.
1974: Another single pass, transiting Uranus was trine (could explain my disco-dancing).
1986: Another single pass, transiting Uranus was sextile, lots of astrology and New Age.
1998: Almost a triple pass – but not quite, single pass only. Mars close by and conjunct, an active and dynamic period of time.
2009: Triple pass…my time has come…I’m a writing juggernaut at the moment. I’m doing the effort shown by this Jupiter return, but will it mean anything? We have to ask Neptune and he’s being coy in the way only Neptune can be, not revealing a single thing!
My seventh Jupiter return will be in 2021. Will I care? Do I care now? It looks like it will occur near my birthday, so I will have a Jupiter return close to my Solar return. Oh joy! Anyone care to speculate? Be kind – 84 is quite old.
This is the end of the original article. Fast forward to now (2020). As I am editing, my seventh return is next year. Somewhere along the line I did a major rewrite of this article, don’t recall why. I choose to repeat the first few lines of the initial part of this article so I can include the new material.
This is the year in which I am experiencing my sixth Jupiter Return. I’m really getting a handle on experience. My window on the past is getting bigger and bigger, my brain is still working, my eyesight and hearing are just fine, and I can report factually on what it is like to experience six Jupiter returns. After all, I have studied metaphysics for forty years and astrology 36 for years, so I just might have some unusual or not easily accessed information that could give astrologers and students an insider’s view; nothing teaches better than a live example.
What is a Jupiter return? Each planet has an individual cycle governed by the length of its orbit. Mars has a two-year orbit, Jupiter has a twelve-year orbit, Pluto has a 248-year orbit, etc. In Its natural cycle, Mars can return to its natal position in anyone’s chart every two years. Saturn returns every 29 years, and Jupiter with a twelve-year orbit is our subject return. At the time a transiting planet returns to its natal position, the person represented by that chart experiences a sort of a cosmic rebirth as new energy is introduced into the equation that is that human being. The sign and degree of the natal position remains the same, but there is an infusion of new energy with an implied new beginning or seeding similar to the concept of a New Moon. For this New Moon analogy, the natal position takes the place of the Sun and the transit takes the place of the much speedier Moon in the New Moon configuration.
The New Moon is the beginning of the phase wheel, the seeding principle for the whole cycle, from the transiting New Moon around to the next New Moon. What begins at the New Moon goes through eight major phases: Crescent, First Quarter, Gibbous, Full, Disseminating, Last Quarter, Balsamic. In English, please. The New Moon represents the conjoining of the two lights, Sun and Moon, thought to be the Divine Marriage between Father and Mother in which the Divine Seed is planted. The period of the New Moon is dark because the Sun and Moon are together in the sky and the Moon is just not visible. Farmers poke a hole in the soil and bury the seed to allow it to break through into growth. This is the dark of the planting cycle, deep in the ground reflected by the lack of visibility when the light of the Sun darkens the Moon (the womb of life). In a few days, the seed has broken through its shell and sends a tendril of growth upward until it breaks the soil and becomes visible. For the Moon cycle, that is about 3.5 days and the Crescent Moon emerges in the lunar cycle. What was planted in the dark can now be seen. This is the first moment of crisis for the growing plant, 45˚ into the whole cycle, semi-square, agitation. The demand on the young plant is extreme and these first few days are an unknown requiring the “faith of the farmer”.
The cycle which began at the New Moon continues to unfold with the First Quarter at about seven days from the New Moon, 90˚ of the full circle, a square astrologically, make or break, grow or die back. The phase continues with the Gibbous phase – the Moon looks like a pregnant woman’s belly as it cycles to the 135˚ position on the wheel of life, sesqui-quadrate or -square, literally a square and a half (90 + 45), the emotional agitation phase about ten to eleven days into the cycle. Have you ever been around a pregnant woman as she approaches the finish line? Weepy, agitated, picky (been there, done that), anticipation very high, hormones raging? That’s the Gibbous Phase. And now we have come to full term. All that can be seen is completely visible because the Moon is glorious in its Full Moon shape. We’ve come to fruition, whatever was seeded has come to light. This is the birth of the baby phase. Amazing that it occurs at opposition, about 14.5 days after the seeding at the New Moon, the axis itself is complete. What was planted has now been born. That moment of birth represents the culmination of the original cycle. What was born at that moment has started its own new and separate cycle. This is only half the originating cycle.
I’ve just described the waxing half of the phase wheel, where something is planted, grows, and matures. Now I will describe the waning half of the phase wheel, similar aspects but in reverse order, moving from fruition to a new beginning which will take place at the next New Moon. In the sky, the period past the Full Moon shows again the seeming belly of a pregnant woman, but the baby has been born and started on it’s own new cycle; what exists here is aftermath of the big event. The big event has to be disseminated, distributed, spread around. It takes time to lose that “belly” but the building up of the waxing cycle must give way to the letting go of the waning cycle. The first crisis occurs at the 135˚ waning point of the circle (45˚ from the Full Moon) about 3.5 days later. Again, emotional agitation, but the reasoning is different. Ever heard of post-partum depression? If you plant a seed, give birth to the result of that seeding, and now you must let it all go, there’s nothing easy about it and it can be very emotionally agitating.
Give it a few more days and at the 90˚ square point called the Last Quarter, we can actually have a crisis. It is time to let go, really let go, because whatever the seeding cycle was about has pretty much fulfilled its purpose and there is no point to hanging on to it… or at least that is the idea. Another 3.5 days and the Balsamic (not the vinegar, although that’s not a bad metaphor) Phase takes place at the waning semi-square (45˚). This seeding process has been just beaten to death, it’s over, let go, we can clear the decks, because the new seeding is only about 3.5 days away. Plow under the old, let whatever it was be done, the new cycle is about to begin. This is the death phase of the cycle – think letting go of whatever can hold you back from the new cycle and the progress implied.
What I have just described is the New Moon Phase Wheel, which is the structure and pattern of all aspects. Based on a cycle of eight primary phases, the sextiles, trines and all other aspects fall naturally into the living cycle, both on the waxing and the waning phases. But this article is not supposed to be about the Phase Wheel, it is about planetary returns, particularly the Jupiter return. This New Moon concept and its phase cycle can be applied to any planetary return, and each return will affect the full phase cycle until the next return. Think… a new beginning moment of a familiar energy, in this instance, Jupiter. Jupiter is a cultural planet that rules expansion, enlargement, philosophy, religion, higher education, teaching, foreign cultures, promotion and publicity and more. It deserves an article or a book of its own, not possible in this getting-bigger-every-moment article.
Every planetary return (transiting planet to its natal position) begins a cycle related to that planet’s energy and its place in the life of the owner of the chart. It is the equivalent of a new seeding for that planet’s expression. What would make a good example? I live in Florida and we have citrus trees galore. If you grow a tree from a seed, you get a wild citrus plant and the fruit will not be edible. Instead, Florida’s fearless farmers must graft a domesticated plant onto the base of the wild plant in order for the fruit to be edible. The wild thorns must be continually removed or the plant will return to the wild nature of the section with the roots. Think of a natal position of a planet as the core or root that will develop naturally. Think of the return as the new grafting, which adds new qualities to an existing plant. That energy must be tended and the wild thorns must be dealt with continually through the life (more returns). What emerges is altered, changed, and (hopefully) bettered. Each return will forever change the nature of the original energy, hopefully for the good of the owner of the chart.
To understand a return, you must start with the natal planet and what it meant in the birth chart. I was born in 1938 with Jupiter at 22 Aquarius 38 in my 9th house. Jupiter rules my 7th (Sagittarius) and co-rules my midheaven (Pisces). This simple definition directs your attention to what my natal Jupiter energy was and influenced. It also indicates where and what to watch as each Jupiter return and activation occurs. Jupiter returns occur naturally about every twelve years. Jupiter’s orbit is 11.88 years in length from point A returning to point A. That oddity doesn’t mean much for the first four returns but can add up and change the year of the return over a longer period of time such as this year for me. For example, this year I am experiencing my sixth Jupiter return and I was 71 years old on Halloween.
New material ends here, original article completes, beginning with “An article on Jupiter and its effects” by Tampa astrologer Hiroki Niizato… to end.
Original article published on EZine online November 2009, republished with editing.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.