Jupiter’s transits require a leap of faith and willingness to conquer new frontiers. But Jupiter is also a planet of learning and wisdom, and his transiting cycle gives us twelve years to both make bold leaps and learn from mistakes.
The Jupiter cycle can be divided into four segments of about three years each. Each of these segments represents an important phase of the cycle—initiation, cultivation, review, and adjustment. When Jupiter makes a conjunction with any planet or important point in your chart, an adventure is beginning, though you may not recognize it yet. Next, count forward, three years at a time, and watch the story unfold.
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THE JUPITER RETURN
Ages 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96
Every twelve years, Jupiter returns to the same degree of the same sign. When it’s the same degree and sign it occupies in your birth chart, we call this a Jupiter return. Each Jupiter return marks the beginning of a new growth cycle in the area of life represented by the house, aspects, and sign of your natal Jupiter. In the tarot, the Fool card depicts a happy-go-lucky fellow who is about to step off a cliff. This is more or less how the beginning of a Jupiter cycle feels. You’re stepping off a familiar cliff into the unknown, initiating a new twelve-year cycle and moving your life’s story a bit further along. Jupiter returns happen every twelve years, so any age divisible by twelve is one when you’ll begin a new cycle of personal growth, when a part of you yearns to push past your comfort zone and expand your realm.
THE OPENING JUPITER SQUARE
Ages 3, 15, 27, 39, 51, 63, 75, 87, 99
At the first square of the Jupiter cycle, you begin to better understand the nature of the adventure you embarked on three years prior. Now it’s time to take an active role in determining the direction it will take.
Let’s imagine that Jupiter is in the tenth house of your birth chart. You might expect a Jupiter return in the tenth house, the House of Career, to bring tremendous career success. But for a client of mine, Tom, it brought the loss of his job. For the next couple of years he felt lost, trying to imagine what to do next. To pass the time, he built a website and began posting articles and tips.
When Jupiter made a square to his natal Jupiter three years later, he realized he had found a line of work that he enjoyed immensely and began to establish a credible consulting business. The nature of his new career adventure was coming into focus, and now he could channel his energy in a specific direction.
THE JUPITER OPPOSITION
Ages 6, 18, 30, 42, 54, 66, 78, 90
At the Jupiter opposition, it’s time to take a long look at your progress. Are you taking the right kinds of chances? Do you have more to learn about your career? How are others in your field doing? The Jupiter opposition feels like the low point in the cycle. Even if you’ve done everything right, the breaks just don’t seem to come your way. Fortunately, Jupiter comes bearing the gift of optimism and philosophy. From this perspective, you can see that there are actually more things you could try. You come to a better understanding of any mistakes that you’ve made along the way. After reaching this low point in its point in the cycle, Jupiter bounces back and so does your optimism, along with some lucky breaks.
THE CLOSING JUPITER SQUARE
Ages 9, 21, 33, 45, 57, 69, 81, 93
You may feel ready to burst out of your shell. You’re getting close to the finish line, and it’s time to make the final push. Some lose heart now, give up, act out, and sabotage their chances for success. But when it comes to Jupiter, go big or go home, as the saying goes. Jupiter wants the big win! Whatever you started nine years ago, don’t give up now.