It seems we are surrounded by an ocean of sound and noise. Social and political concerns pull at us like the unyielding tide, and we navigate the news and what seems like daily incursions on freedoms and principles. We are living in a period of massive upheaval with breakdowns, breakthroughs, and revolution (Uranus) being empowered and compelled by underlying archetypal processes of change (Pluto). “Nobody told me there'd be days like these/Strange days indeed/most peculiar”. Thank you, John Lennon.

I’ve been noticing something these strange days. At the grocery checkout lane, or on the phone with a friend, I feel the simple pleasure of relating. This is not auto-pilot niceties (“How are you?” “Fine, you?”) but the kind that includes looking the other in the eyes, or tasting the rich silence of listening which allows me to take in not only what the other person is saying, but how they say it with their gestures, the tone of their voice. Being present and open at the same time seems to lead me to feel rooted. It’s kind of magical. And I think it’s a kind of medicine.

This is Jupiter in Libra, which symbolizes the importance of relationships to the life of the spirit. Particularly in times of stress and anxiety, meaningful presence in our relationships is a salve, medicine to dark and divisive undercurrents in the world. It is in the intimacy of our relationships that we reconnect to what is true and important, because there our hopes and concerns are fully expressed.  

Jupiter is about personal meaning, how larger patterns and stories give a sense of significance to my life. That’s why he is related to religion, philosophy, and law. What makes our lives feel meaningful and how we go about seeking that sense is very much related to Jupiter’s position in our birth chart. When he is in Libra, a sign ruled by Venus, relationships become a pathway for meaning-making – and this includes all one-on-one relationships whether personal or professional. How are your relationships important to you? Jupiter as Zeus is expansive and fecund, think of his many love affairs and the many children born of them. How are you expanding and growing through your partnerships?

Jupiter has been in Libra since September 2016, and at the start of this month he began his annual retrograde cycle, so these questions are ripe for reflection. When Jupiter is retrograde we can work with this by turning inward, opening to the rewards of introspection. How your relationships are doing, and how you feel in and about them may yield some things that have been lying in the shadows. Maybe there is still some sadness around lost connections, nostalgia for the ways someone was once so central. Perhaps you are becoming uncomfortably aware that you cannot be met the way you need. This kind of love work is related to our own deepening. As Jung says, you can’t individuate on a mountaintop, it requires relationship.

Jupiter in Libra says that relating is meaningful because our hearts open wide when we are present to each other. The quality of presence that we bring to our individual encounters is the key. In warm focused attentiveness, our spirits expand and strengthen. We become courageous when we feel love. I think this this is a critical counterbalance to the greater demand of socio-political awareness and activism that many feel called to participate in.

Jupiter is retrograde until early June, so he will be clicking into aspect with Uranus and Pluto until he leaves Libra in October. This suggests that our relationships can also be vehicles for illumination (Uranus) and renewal (Pluto). Creativity is born of chaos, and these periods of deep unrest and dissatisfaction can be imagined as the fertile grounds for genius. What art, literature, music will be born from this period? The individual spirit (Uranus in Aries) is emboldened by meaningful partnership (Jupiter in Libra), we have seen this through the ages.  

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