Jupiter Retrograde: Buoyancy & Death

Time for another little tide change, ya’ll. So let’s break it down a bit.

On the one hand we have Jupiter.  Traditionally known as the deity of benevolence. Luck! The spinning wheel. Society, culture, travel and philosophy. A big-bellied laugh and…could it be a white beard, too?

Death & The Wheel of Fortune from the Thoth Tarot deck. Along with some magnetized hematite, pyrite and green goldstone.

On the other hand we have Jupiter taking a tour through Scorpio. Sign of death. Chaos. Sex, magic, drugs and the occult. Transformation. The barrel of the wave. Also potentially laughing, but… perhaps a bit maniacally. And at you rather than with you.

These are stereotypical depictions of these archetypes. Cliches because there’s truth there. But as with every archetype, they twist and turn through our experiences of them, revealing greater depths all the time. Archetypes just can’t be pinned down. Or fully understood, really.

I’ve often looked at depictions of Jupiter with some degree of skepticism. There’s an inherent distrust there that I don’t quite understand. In my days of being a young(er) astrologer, I started to notice something. My Jupiter transits weren’t always notable, but when they were it was usually for not-so-great reasons. Stripped of qualified words like luck and joviality, Jupiter is about expansion. Sometimes things have to be pushed out in order to make room for expansion. Sometimes that pushing out feels like loss.

On October 10, 2017, Jupiter moved from Libra into Scorpio, where it will stay until November 8, 2018. What did we see with the shift? The birth of the Me Too movement. Jupiter took his magnifying glass and put it right over the heart of what our society has repressed for so long. No more! Abuses of power and sexual perpetrators being exposed left and right.

Our culture has a way of avoiding death and sex. This avoidance is highly problematic being as sex and death are arguably the two most important and universal aspects of human life. But there it was: humans coming forward in droves, publicly admitting that they, too, had been sexually assaulted.

What did we realize? The absolutely pervasive nature of sexual assault and misconduct. In a more nuanced way, we also realized that sexual power plays are so insidious that many don’t even realize they’ve been assaulted because verbal assault has become a part of everyday life.

You mean walking down the street and not being told to smile is an option? You mean it’s OK to feel uncomfortable when someone hoots and hollers at me for what I’m wearing? I don’t just have to accept it? Yes, all of these things are forms of sexual violence.

Like that, the collective pain body was magnified and exposed. There’s Jupiter. In Scorpio.

This transit is calling on us to expand upon our beliefs about sex and sexuality. Responsible, ecstatic and transformative sex requires that we have knowledge and wisdom — those are Jupiter’s realms — about sex. Knowledge and wisdom about sex require that we know about our own body, what we find pleasurable, and how to engage in sex in ways that are safe for our physical health.

But more than that — sex is at its essence an emotional act. Through its association with Scorpio, we understand that the act of merging with another human can be terrifying, but also transformative at the most profound levels imaginable.

My belief in sex is that it can be used as a vehicle to facilitate healing processes rather than power. But for that to be the case, we have to explore and experiment and experience. And we have to understand how sex effects our own emotions. And be honest about that.
Jupiter in Scorpio shines a light on and magnifies the underworld. It’s expanding taboos so that we can face them and unveil them to reveal truth, or at least our current beliefs about truth. At its core, the drive is to help us understand our relationship to Death with a capital D, but those beliefs can be made more general: how do we deal with loss? Change? Transformation? Sex — which is in fact the little death? What hides in our shadows – personally and collectively?

Time for a personal belief: our globalized capitalist culture is way too enmeshed with a death cult (ahem: Christianity). On the one hand, we’re obsessed with death at some very surface levels. Look at our Blockbusters, the ways we glorify the hoarding of money so that it can pass on to our children (or just make us worth something).

On the other hand, we have been stripped of mythologies, religions and ways of understanding that help us to orient to death — the ONE thing that will happen to each and every one of us. These denials and repressions essentially lead to us using the earth as a sewer without regard for the fact that without a healthy environment, we… well, we die. Our species just flops the fuck over. Whether or not we take time to think about it or prepare for it in ways that actually matter.

Yes, I’m questioning whether preparation for a $5000 coffin is a way that really matters.

As Jupiter retrogrades through Scorpio (from March 8 – July 10, from 23-13 degrees), we have an opportunity to review our beliefs. Our beliefs about death, sex, power, emotional self-reliance (especially in times of chaos or transformation), shared assets, our own shadows…

We get to consciously reveal what needs to be exposed, which is a much easier task than having someone or something else reveal it for us. At least in my experience it is.

Speaking of exposure. I wrote a weekly column for two years that was largely comprised of personal narrative about these kinds of topics. I exposed myself over and over again. Why? Well, because writing that way is just easier for me — telling my own personal stories to show illustrations of astrological concepts just takes less time than trying to generalize and sound like I know what I’m talking about outside my personal stuff.

Point being: I haven’t done much of that style of writing since I left that position in the fall of 2016. But this Jupiter in Scorpio stuff hits home, so here it goes.

I have a whole lotta chart action between 15-29 degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius). This means that when any of the slower moving planets tour those spots, I get to learn a lot. Jupiter’s not super slow, but given that it takes 12 months to travel, it gives enough time to pay attention to what’s being revealed and healed.

As Jupiter heads towards its station this evening (Thursday, March 8), it’s riiiiiiiiight there in the heart of my karmic story. I’ve been feeling it for a few weeks now, just taking note. Ok, and sometimes clenching up and throwing a temper tantrum and texting my AstroSupport Team (two friends of mine) to say, “Ack! No! It’s just so much roiling Scorpio energy! The intensity! I’ve loved feeling more dried out! Ack! No!”

Last time a heavy hitter move through this space — those three years of Saturn in Scorpio — I had to face pretty much every fear I had. I was hoping for just one or two, but…nope! It all got dredged up. The more dramatic sides of me have some PTSD. But when it comes down to it that transit served to reinforce my emotional foundations, and my inner parent is pretty on task now. At the very least, I know when I’m being emotionally triggered and know not to fly off the handle.

I decided to take a look at what was going on in my life the last time Jupiter was in Scorpio. Ah, yes. My brother committed suicide. Sudden loss. Pain, grief, terror. Confrontation with severe mental illness. Confrontation with my own beliefs about death, purgatory, hell, the afterlife, the bardo states, the soul’s journey, reincarnation…

That was rough.

But you know what? Through all the grief and loss, and everything I watched my family go through, I expanded into some of the most important and fundamental beliefs and truths of my life thus far.

I confirmed that I was officially done with Christianity, yes, but that rather than being in the nihilist-atheist binge I’d been on for several years, my mind had been opened to something more vast, and more meaningful.

Through the many synchronicities of my brother’s death (oh, there were so many totally improbable and fucking strange things that happened to show me how deeply we are all connected), my exposure to Buddhist beliefs about death and dying, and they ways it clarified to me that I have to do exactly what I want to do in this life rather than what others expect of me…

…through experiencing little cosmic giggles and the ways random people in my life showed up…and the ways I saw family members clinging onto their own beliefs and spewing some pretty hateful stuff…

…through recognizing with full bodied awareness just how short and precious life is…

…I was suddenly free. Free to move through the world with the spaciousness that comes only when you truly understand that you are on this planet to self-actualize. Not to play by rules and social standards that make no sense to you. I realized the best thing I could do was live my life the way I wanted to, and to figure out how to do that, because my brother never got to…

…and I realized that in so many ways, my brother’s death was one of the most incredible gifts I could have ever received.

The gift of life through death. That’s Jupiter in Scorpio.

Sounds great, yeah?

Well, it kinda is. BUT! Still…who likes to go through that kind of change? Ok, maybe some do. Parts of me do! Not to say that I like it when people I love die. No, not at all. But when I recognize I’m once again going through a death-journey, there’s a part of me that says “ah-HA! Time to learn some more,” and I lean in.

I have to keep that in mind when I’m in the barrel of the Scorpio wave, being tossed around. I have to remember to laugh…


And there it is again. That image of Jupiter belly laughing. But this time, it’s as he gathers up the courage of curiosity, the centeredness of belief, and the audacity to plunge into the underworld on a quest to learn what lies at the heart of it this round.

Sometime last week, as I moaned and groaned via text to my AstroSupport Team (and, by the way, that’s totally a name I just made up for two dear friends with whom I have an ongoing group text thread), about being able to feel this sensitive area of my chart being constellated. What was their advice?


And it’s true.

We have an invitation to fall into the depths. No doubt some of us are just being taken there. But what holds us when we fall? What do we believe in?

So for this retrograde period, in effect until July 10, you might want to review your beliefs about death, the afterlife, sex, sexuality, your most intimate relationships, your emotional self-reliance, and any hidden parts that start to emerge.  Face your fears, remember to laugh, and then after July 10, begin to integrate what you’ve learned as the foundations of your new belief system.\

No biggie, right?

Interested in how this Jupiter in Scorpio transit might effect your life and ways you can work with it? An astrology consultation is where it’s at, y’all. Book a Session with me to find out more. 

Or, you can support my work (and participate in it, too!) through Patreon. 

2 thoughts on “Jupiter Retrograde: Buoyancy & Death”

  1. I love your writing, Amanda! So insightful and also relatable. Thank you for these observations and for pointing out where to look in the vast inner cave for the treasures revealed during Jupiter retrograding in Scorpio.

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