As the planets wander through the sky they change positions against the backdrop of the zodiac.
This movement can be like a dance as everyone (the planets) take their place and enter the stage.
At anytime one or two of the planets will take center stage as the others fade into the background for a while.
Planets in prominent positions may have a story to tell, and we listen.
Where is it going on?
This time it is Jupiter as he enters the fifth sign of Leo. A fire planet (Jupiter) in a fire sign (Leo).
Up there right now the biggest planet in the solar system and the ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter, is entering the zodiac sign of the Lion.
A festival of balloons!
I often use the imagery of a hot air balloon to explain the astrological meaning for Jupiter.
Balloons are big, brightly coloured and when they drift by you simply can’t miss them. Much like Jupiter.
The collective noun for balloons is a festival of balloons which brings a fun and exciting element to ballooning. Much like Jupiter.
They travel on their journey, but to who knows where? Much like Jupiter.
They are filled with hot air or gas, and balloons will explode if over-filled. Much like Jupiter.
They often broadcast a message from their sponsors or promote special events (such as at sports events) written in huge letters on the sides of the balloon. Much like Jupiter
And I would imagine that the people who do take a ride in a hot air balloon say a prayer before launch. Much like Jupiter.
I have always fancied trusting the woven basket and journeying on a balloon flight and perhaps one day I shall. Much like Jupiter.
Who is it good for?
Jupiter in Leo is especially good news for the fire signs and that means those with strong fire signs present in their birth charts.
I will tell you I am strongly Leo myself and I have been waiting for a while now for this shift in energy as Jupiter changes sign.
If you have an Aries, Leo or Sagittarian Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Jupiter or other cluster of planets in these three signs you will benefit during the upcoming year as Jupiter goes through Leo.
If your business chart has the fire signs emphasized as well your business can experience huge growth now.
If you are strongly Gemini or Libra you will see some support and some good things. You need to grasp any opportunities fleeting as they may be.
If you are strongly Taurus, Scorpio or Aquarius could face the difficult side and this may suggest the over excessive situations as mentioned later.
Those of you with strong Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces may not see much change although you will try to make adjustments this year.
How can you make the most of it?
Jupiter in Leo is upbeat, positive and outgoing. It encourages taking chances and aiming higher in life.
Leo is the sign of the theatre and when planets enter the “stage” they will play their roles to perfection.
Using the theater analogy, Jupiter in Leo can either be the highly colorful swashbuckling much loved hero or he can be an overly costumed blow-hard in a pantomime.
The down side of Jupiter in Leo can be over-extension, over-doings things and excessive behavior. Or just too much of a good thing.
Pace yourself and all will be fine.
What is in it for you?
Jupiter is the planet of growth and expansion.
It has to do with reaching for things just out of your grasp but it is the reaching that is important.
We like to s-t-r-e-t-c-h ourselves when Jupiter is active.
You can lift your eyes to gaze at your horizons.
Now is the time to aspire towards previously laughable dreams. Dust off your visions and start to believe.
When Jupiter is prominent by transit, and if it contacts your chart, you can raise your profile and aim for more in life.
Jupiter will support activities in broadcasting, promotion (self and business), publishing, gaining knowledge (as opposed to information), adult education, religious temperance, international travel and cosmopolitan situations.
Jupiter in Leo reinforces the theatre and daily dramas. See them for what they are.
Mercury has more retrograde cycles than the other planets. Mercury goes retrograde three times each year. This occurs roughly at four month intervals and usually coincides with the same element for three consecutive retrograde periods.
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. It moves the fastest of all the planets. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.
All the planets except the Sun and Moon have retrograde periods every year. The exception is Mars which turns retrograde every two years. you can see that it affects many planets and that there is almost always one planet retrograde at any given time.
Pop culture and Mercury retrograde
As the details of Mercury retrograde permeate through to the general public the words, “Mercury retrograde” become a catch phrase and is diluted down into basic, and often most inflammatory words. You will hear things like, “don’t buy computers, cars or phones when Mercury is retrograde.”
Well yes, certainly those things can be said but astrologers know there is a more subtle effect to the apparent reversal of direction for the innermost planet.
Your natal Mercury condition
As with all astrology good forecasting and interpretation for yourself hinges on your own chart. If you have a well-placed and robust Mercury you will withstand the influence of Mercury retrograde (or any retrograde depending on the planet) and still be standing as other folds under their weaker Mercury placements.
A broad generality is like saying, “All cars reverse (or back-up) badly” when really it is more that, “some drivers can’t reverse very well.”
You know yourself that you are better at some things than others and certainly you will do some things way better than anyone else. So saying we all suffer the same way when Mercury is retrograde is simplistic.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your birth chart you will withstand the negative effects of any Mercury retrograde period now and in the future.
How Retrogrades Affect Your Chart
Whichever house in your natal chart this retrograde occurs will be the area of life that is affected.
For example, if this Mercury retrograde period occurs in your fourth house then you will revisit family and home issues and you will need to go back and attend to them and drains, leaks and plumbing come to mind.
If it happens in your seventh house your marriage will need further discussions and conversations and yes it will be about dragging up past issues (like affairs) to be aired again as these things just won’t stay buried.
The Illusion of Aparrent Retrograde Motion
Retrograde motion is the apparent backwards movement of a planet.
The analogy I use when I’m teaching a class is that when you are on a train moving forwards then another train pulls alongside going at the same speed, if the second train slows down it appearsto be going backwards, although it is still moving forwards albeit slower than your train.
This is an optical illusion and clearly demonstrates planetary apparent retrograde motion.
There are a few weeks when the Sun and the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, pass through and transit the twelfth house of your chart.
This is a time of the year to slow down, rest and take a pause from life. It is a period of about one month when:
your energy and drive becomes less prominent (the Sun),
your reading, thinking and conversation turns inward (Mercury) and
personal relationships, your social life and romance become less active (Venus).
In a way it is like having a dimmer switch on your life which reduces the glare and allows your eyes to adjust to the darker world where you can see what is lingering in the shadows that you have been ignoring up until now.
You will once again be back in the spotlight when the Sun crosses your ascendant and announces your personal New Year.
For you to be able to step onto the stage of life with vibrancy and confidence (which comes from the Sun) you are required to rest up, recuperate and chill as the planets move through the twelfth house of your natal chart.
Every year is different
Each one of you will have a different “quiet month” depending on which other planets are passing through your twelfth house at the same time.
It also changes tempo depending on whether the Sun leads the charge through your twelfth house or Mercury or Venus gets there first.