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The Balance of Abundance 

Photo by Amanda Painter
  • Photo by Amanda Painter

This Friday at 7:18 am EDT, Jupiter will leave Virgo and enter Libra. Theoretically, Virgo should not have been the most comfortable place for Jupiter; yet, I’d be surprised if you did not reap some benefit from this last year of Jupiter in Virgo, especially if you moved in the directions that most called to you with some genuine enthusiasm and energy.

Eric described it in this week’s Planet Waves FM as “the pleasure of working.” That is, connecting to the ‘pleasures’ that truly matter and that are aligned with one’s sense of personal integrity and dharma. I can certainly think of a couple examples from my own life that fit the bill, one long-term from early in the year and one short-term from just a couple weeks ago. How about you?

I ask merely to illustrate that no matter what an astrology book says about a planet in a particular sign, there is always a positive, constructive way to work with it. Often Virgo is said to have a restrictive effect on Jupiter; but maybe Jupiter only feels ‘restricted’ there when a sense of focus and purpose is missing. True, Jupiter can’t go all-out indulgent there, but indulgence has its downside in the extreme, after all.

So what is Jupiter in Libra all about? Libra is ruled by Venus; so right away, Jupiter is inviting you to move into fuller expressions of loving and sexual relationships, art, beauty, social justice, fairness and balance.

Which kind of brings up an interesting question: what do expansion, indulgence and abundance have to do with balance? Aren’t they just another form of extreme?

They can be, yet as an old friend of mine used to say, “You only have what you give.” Translation: genuine abundance is not a static state. You experience abundance by drawing from it to offer it to others, not by holding on tight. It helps to think of ‘abundance’ not as a pile of stuff or a wad of cash, but as a feeling: a feeling of hands opening to offer, and hearts opening to receive (and vice versa).

Maybe that is one of the reasons Jupiter works so well in Libra: if the conduits for both giving and receiving are opened up, that is a form of balance. ‘Receiving’ is not the same as ‘taking’, or even ‘withholding’ or ‘keeping’. You can’t close things (hands, doorways, bank accounts, minds, hearts) if you want to allow more of something to enter.

As Eric also mentions in Planet Waves FM this week, Jupiter is a "use-it-or-lose-it" planet. To work its potential, to tap into abundance, requires you to be generous and notice how you feel while doing it. Note that this is not the same as offering yourself as slave labor if a situation feels abusive, or giving so much to others that you run up credit card debt.

The "notice how you feel" part is critical. If you start feeling shitty about yourself, or like saying "no" gets you a huge self-inflicted guilt trip, it’s time to step back and get some perspective or a second opinion (such as from a trusted friend or counselor) on what’s going on. Too many people have grown up in family situations—or encountered them in intimate relationships—where natural generosity gets manipulated. Next thing you know, you’re second-guessing yourself at every turn, vacillating back and forth between feeling guilty if you don’t give and not trusting why you’re giving (or whether it’s deserved) when you do.

So if you’re prone to getting stuck in that kind of mental loop, Jupiter in Libra might be a good time to seek some help sorting through those feelings. Sometimes we have to begin with giving to ourselves the investment of therapeutic process; then we can discover just how must we have to offer others in healthy ways.

Finally, I took a quick look at minor objects that might be greeting Jupiter in Libra. The two that stood out: asteroid Industria in the first degree of Libra, and Trans-Neptunian Object Salacia in the first degree of Aries.

The phrase that popped into mind with Industria was, “Get busy!” As in, get going on all those beautiful Jupiter-in-Libra themes in your life: your relationships, your art, social justice, beauty and love and sex and generosity. Yet, in that diligence, remember to keep things constructive. That requires balancing the focus on your "work" with an eye to consequences, context and anything you might be prone to forget about when you get excited.

Salacia was the Roman goddess of the sea: a nymph whom Neptune fell in love with—though she eluded him until he sent a dolphin to get her, then they married (Salacia and Neptune, not the dolphin; you never know with the ancient myths).

In Aries, the sign of "self," there’s a message here to watch for what has eluded you for a while. It might have to do with your relationship to abundance, or to love, or to art—or to relationships themselves. And in the sign opposite from Jupiter, that message might even come in the form of a playful, intelligent ‘other’ mirroring some feedback to you—or an invitation.

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  • When the conduits for both giving and receiving are opened up, a form of balance is achieved

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