Of course, Jupiter is always orbiting the Sun in one direction, just like the rest of the bodies in the Solar System. But now and again, when observed from our earthly perspective, it appears to move from West to East. This is known as retrograde motion, caused by differences in the speed of Earth's orbit to Jupiter's and can be seen in all the observable planets.
Jupiter entered retrograde motion on 6th February 2017. In astrology, a retrograde planet generally signifies delays and disappointments, challenges and obstructions, setbacks and defeat. However, it is also an ideal time to review and rethink our plans, to take stock and readjust our course or simply rest and recuperate.
Each planet represents a different theme when retrograde and for Jupiter, this can mean low levels of energy and motivation, stunted growth or reduced productivity, a lack of fulfillment, joy and optimism or simply misfortune. And yet some of us might find hidden opportunities therein.
The 2017 Jupiter retrograde occurred in Libra. Anyone born under this Zodiac Sign would have experienced the retrograde more potently - for better or worse. Relationships and work, specifically creative work or hobbies, are most likely the areas directly concerned, for Libra also symbolises the arts. There may have been a general feeling of malaise or lacking, most commonly in motivation, happiness or satisfaction, even from previously enjoyable pastimes or relationships. A string of bad luck or seemingly unfortunate events are also common during this retrograde. Yet, if anything, it is a Jupiter retrograde that can present the proverbial silver lining. This is most likely revealed in the months following the retrograde when the 'aha' moment occurs and any previous misfortune begins to make sense.
Aries is a Sign that might have experienced antagonism or outright bad luck over the last four months, as Jupiter is literally in opposition from Libra. Cancerians and Capricorns perhaps dealt with the more challenging nature of the retrograde, feeling deeply aggravated or stressed by any setbacks or unfortunate events. Conversely, Fire Signs Leo and Sagittarius probably found hidden blessings, for instance, through unexpected help or support. Air Signs Gemini and Aquarius perhaps had the easiest ride, even discovering ways to actively use the retrograde to their advantages, such as the delay of one project favouring the growth of another or the ending of a relationship leading to a much better acquaintance.
Of course, we each have a birth chart uniquely impacted by Jupiter's retrograde and depending on the position of the planets, at the time of birth, any of the above experiences are applicable to some extent. Libra is foremost the Sign of relationships and love, which is perhaps where most of us experienced challenges of late. The most obvious manifestation is frequent quarrels and disagreements with partners, even if over trivial matters, difficulty relating to loved ones, such as feeling detached or isolated and a lack of joy and satisfaction in previously fulfilling relationships - or in the arena of dating and love in general. The resulting confusion can lead to difficult encounters, lackluster dates, separations or indeed break-ups (which may still contain a hidden blessing), or quite possibly a temporary blip, resulting from poor judgment and misunderstandings. Again, this will all likely resolve in the coming months, particularly when forgiveness and empathy are practiced on both sides.
Sometimes we just need a timeout to objectively understand a relationship or review the progress of a creative project, thus a temporary break or apparent ending is necessary. It could also be that a new relationship or project won't serve our long-term best interests and ends, in an apparent untimely or unfair way, only for this to make sense later. Sometimes we simply grow apart from others, when the relationship has served a specific purpose or when beneficial learning is no longer possible from the union, which are reasons not immediately evident to most. This can also apply to a job, project or path of study or spirituality when Jupiter is in Libra.
Relationships can end in many ways, including death. It is in this case that Jupiter's spiritual aspect perhaps manifests, as a reminder that love transcends physical death for even those who have left this plane continue to live on in us through our love. Libra is a Sign very much concerned with true love, both loving others and the self, as well as an appreciation of internal and external beauty. Jupiter retrograde in this Sign can indicate problems here, too, such as feeling unloved or low on self-esteem. This might result from a rejection or harsh encounter, or some kind of affliction or unfortunate occurrence that derails our feelings of self-worth. Yet all wounds are temporary and will eventually heal, with time and the right care, for Libra's desire is to find true beauty and love and Jupiter fuels this search with hope and optimism.
Jupiter also represents foreign travel and higher education and these areas might have presented issues during the retrograde, for instance, relocation for work or study, which impacted significantly on relationships. Or it may be that some form of learning was required recently, causing angst or conflict. There could have been delays or problems with a foreign trip or experience, which has had a lasting personal impact. Again, for some, the retrograde could have worked in unexpectedly favorable ways. For instance, being stuck abroad only to have an important encounter or experience; being challenged in work or with studying only to discover a new skill or talent. Such positive outcomes will most likely manifest further in the coming months, as Jupiter resumes apparent forward motion. So don't give into any feelings of defeat just yet and instead actively seek something positive you might have gained or learned.
Another aspect of Libra, the Sign of the Scales, is justice and equality; Libra weighs all sides of any situation, gracefully allowing each a chance of expression, whilst striving for balance and accord. Jupiter, meanwhile, represents the law, morality and spirituality and so the two can make a fitting union. Evidently, on the world stage, Jupiter's retrograde in Libra has coincided with many atrocities, in particular regarding politics and religion. But corruption has been exposed, on many levels, from the deceit of leaders and politicians to radicalisation by religious extremists, resulting in many heinous acts. Furthermore, Libra is a social Air Sign concerned with communication and networking whilst Jupiter is a social planet, representing the many. Together, at this time, they symbolise our collective cry for equality and justice for all - specifically through social media. Thus Jupiter retrograde in Libra has shown both its sides, from the abuse of social media to fuel immoral agendas - whether that's amassing extremists or deceiving the masses, to uniting people in pain and suffering and facilitating our collective call for justice.
With Jupiter resuming direct motion, those who experienced a lack of energy and motivation from February may find productivity increasing in the coming months, particularly in areas relating to the arts and design, social therapies and law. But this also applies to our general sense of efficiency and growth and its resulting satisfaction. Returning to a neglected relationship, project or pastime, for instance, can prove enjoyable and rewarding once more, as progress can resume and new discoveries made. Luck and good fortune may also play a role in helping to mend any retrograde damage, while Jupiter in Libra enjoys healing and reconnecting through art, poetry and music. For those who have acted immorally or unfairly during the retrograde, repercussions will manifest between now and October. Although a retrograde period can feel discouraging and present us with challenges and defeat, the outcome will always be in our favour - even if this is not immediately obvious. Because Jupiter stands for expansion, learning and growth, as well as hope and optimism, supported now by Libra's diplomatic, virtuous and beautiful nature.
In an interesting twist, Jupiter ended its current retrograde on the very same day of the June Full Moon in Sagittarius - the Fire Sign ruled by Jupiter. Furthermore, it formed a supportive Sextile aspect to the Moon and a harmonious Trine aspect to the Sun. The heavens are resplendent with signs, for together this symbolises the beneficial and fortuitous nature attributed to Jupiter in astrology. Although the last four months may have been challenging and frustrating, Jupiter ends its retrograde with a promising cosmic wink.