Nov 2016
Fair is Fair

12321449_704071916401602_4950885662257937940_nThe most important transit of November takes place on an American holiday devoted to gratitude. This is an utterly appropriate approach to the Jupiter-Pluto square.

Gratitude is the most fitting response to any transit of Jupiter, the planet of unasked-for blessings, or “fortune” (1). Unlike Saturn, its evil twin, Jupiter does not require that we earn what we get. What arrives feels like “luck.” (2)

Open-hearted enthusiasm is the hallmark of Sagittarius, the sign ruled by Jupiter. 6e84e3ffe62428538b073730f9f68527Venus is in Sagittarius as the month begins, and the Sun and Mercury move into it Nov 12th and 21st. The image is of Charles Dickens’ second ghost, the one of the Christmas Present: a big, jolly fellow surrounded by abundance.

The dark side of Sagittarius is entitlement, arrogance and self-aggrandizement. The old-school moralists would have added greed and gluttony to the list.

Both the higher and the lower sides of this archetype are intensified this month.

Quid pro quo

What house of your chart do the early degrees of Libra occupy? If you don’t know,

Ruth Orkinhave your chart done: a Jupiter transit is one you definitely want to take advantage of. The house it’s passing through tells you where your growth spurt is. It shows where you’re feeling the urge to pack in as much of the big, wide world as possible into your own little world.

In Libra, Jupiter will manifest for some people as a surge of idealism about basic fairness: a concept that – unless we have a lot of Libra in our chart — we usually take for granted. (3) It’s a newly fervent belief in equality as a social good. Others may be thinking about how tit-for-tat works in our personal relationships. This will be especially likely while the Charles Ricketts - Cupid Flying Away from Psyche. 1901transit’s exact, on Nov 25th, at the same time that Venus in Capricorn conjoins Pluto.

But take note. Whatever our ideals are (Jupiter), they are fueled right now by the planet of power (Pluto). It’s an ambitious transit with an obsessive edge.

Struggle for Survival

The peak period, this year, of the Jupiter-Pluto square is between Nov 11th and Dec 4th. (4) Some of us will feel the urge to reform somebody or something. Others will be the object of somebody else’s makeover campaign.

Be on the alert for the scent of psychological blood. As always with Pluto transits, our signal that there’s something karmic afoot is 13876178_757087977766662_613053109298682688_na sharpened survival instinct.

The potential exists to destroy something. This is appropriate in matters of anti-corruption campaigns; less appropriate in romantic matters. There’s only one sure way to avoid the dark side of the transit. Pump more attention into improving yourself than improving the other person.

Our ability to work like a dog right now can be great for professional focus, especially if our job involves teaching or social betterment. But there’s a fine line, as we know from witnessing fanatics and demagogues in the public sphere, between the impulse to uplift and the impulse to take over.14064296_767485910060202_4785586851318910826_n

Finding that line takes acute self-examination.


1) Jupiter has traditionally been associated with both meanings of the word “fortune”: luck and financial gain.

2) The more closely we follow planetary cycles, however, the more meaningless it feels to chalk things up to “luck.” As if there were some mysterious, arbitrary force that happens to be – for the moment — on our Patrick Gonzales -- artworkside. Each of us has a Jupiter cycle, laying out the way our growth unfurls: our own unique pattern of expansion, as natural and inevitable as other Natural Laws; such as that of contraction (Saturn), breakdown and renewal (Pluto), magnetism (Venus), etc.

3) Society focuses on justice as a human ideal every 12 years, for about a year. In the USA, the legal implications of Black Lives Matter started to become emphasized when Jupiter entered Libra in September; i.e. the concept of holding police shooters accountable to the same legal standards that would be applied to their African-American victims.

4) It reaches exactitude on 11/24/16, 3/30/17, and 8/4/17.

Ilustration from A Christmas Carol, 1843
Photo by Ruth Orkin
Charles Ricketts: Cupid Flying Away from Psyche. 1901
Girl w/caged Moon: Patrick Gonzales