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The Mountain Astrologer

Jupiter in Libra - Putting Flesh on Symbolic Bones

by Anne Whitaker

Jupiter in LibraPreceding Jupiter’s shift into Libra on September 9, 2016, the media was alive with astrologers delineating the meaning of that particular planetary combination and its possible impact on both collective and personal life. Given my abiding interest in investigating such matters, I thought up a mini project likely to be of interest to me, to clients who would agree to have their lives researched, and hopefully to the readers of The Mountain Astrologer.

The Mini Research Project

The project’s objective was to illustrate Jupiter’s 2016 entry into Libra through the lives of four of my astrology clients. I was also keen to demonstrate the workings of the 11.6-year Jupiter return cycle in relation to Libra. Bill Clinton’s life, from the 1990s to the present day, enabled me to do this; his generous allocation of Ascendant and three planets, including Jupiter, in Libra seemed too good to miss from a study point of view!

No one planet works on its own. There is always a complex dynamic involving the interplay of them all. The third and final exact square between Saturn (conjunct Mars this time) and Neptune occurring on the same day as Jupiter’s entry into Libra is a striking example. Bearing this fully in mind, I hoped nevertheless to tease out and demonstrate the specific symbolic action of one bright thread in the current planetary weave — Jupiter in Libra.

To achieve this, I kept the focus of the study quite narrow and the questions simple and minimal, asking the participants only to note any inner or outer events in their lives which seemed to them to be unusual: from just before Jupiter’s shift on Friday, September 9, over that whole weekend. Secondly, I requested them to take notes if they wished until the end of September, by which time Jupiter would have reached 5° Libra and be “settling in” to his transit of that sign. I also asked them to let me know if nothing of significance occurred during that critical weekend and the rest of September.

The four clients — Nora, Eliza, Philippa, and Louise (all names are pseudonyms) — were chosen because they have planets located in the very early degrees of Libra and, in one case, the progressed Midheaven (MC). Louise’s horoscope has a particularly dynamic lineup of planets triggered by Jupiter’s entry into Libra: Therefore, I chose her for a longer case study and have also included her chart. Of the four clients, only Louise knows anything much about astrology. She began her formal astrological studies in September 2016.

Jupiter in Libra

By the time this article appears (I am writing during September–October 2016), the above combination of energies will have been exhaustively examined. Nevertheless, it seems appropriate to give a brief summary for those who are new to astrology, and a refresher for the rest of us, before presenting the vividly illustrative feedback provided by my research subjects.

English visionary poet William Blake’s marvellous line,“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,”1tells us a great deal about Jupiter’s symbolic role. Blake had many planets in Sagittarius, the mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter. He knew a thing or two about excess. As the quotation indicates, Blake believed that challenges arising from an excess of exuberant experimentation in life teach one more than being overcautious ever does. Jupiter brings undoubted blessings: robust faith in life’s essential value and goodness, the longing to know and to grow in wisdom, the ability to have fun and inspire other people. However, all forms of overconfidence can also arise from a strong dose of Jupiter in one’s horoscope.

The restless drive to grow, to expand, to live a life rich in meaning, to push the boundaries of knowledge and experience as far as possible, lies at the core of astrological Jupiter. He is the archetypal puer aeternus — the Divine Child who does not willingly accept the limits set by age and time, Saturn’s domain. As we will see from Louise’s horoscope and her feedback, Jupiter crossing her 9th-house Pluto in Libra also triggered a square to 7th-house Saturn, pulling transiting Jupiter’s expansiveness down to earth.

LibraLibra is a cardinal air sign and, as such, represents in essence a communicative, initiatory spirit. It is also the first of the “social” signs — Aries through Virgo being more personally oriented. Using the charm and grace bestowed by its ruling planet, Venus, Libra’s drive is to reach out in relationship to others in bringing harmony, justice, fairness, and balance to bear. The grace and beauty gifted by Venus also remind us of Libra’s strong links with all the arts.

Aries However, it is always important to remember that signs work in polarity: Libra sits in the Scales opposite Aries. Someone once described Libra as “a polite Aries.” You can push Libra quite far — but don’t push your luck! Apart from revealing an aggressive streak if pushed, Libra’s Scales indicate a real gift for strategy and tactics, balancing one option with another to arrive at the most diplomatic, least offensive way forward. The shadow side of this points to a Libran’s biggest downsides: being indecisive in the face of many choices and being too nice in order to avoid giving offence, thereby undermining one’s own position.

Fire and air make a lively, curious, creative, inspirational mix of energies: Jupiter (ruling a fire sign) generally works well in the air sign of Libra, bringing an expansive Big Picture perspective to the drive for fairness, harmony, justice, and aesthetic expression. The capacity to be in the right place at the right time, to take advantage of opportunities offered to widen one’s horizons, seems to be a striking feature of Jupiter in Libra periods for many people, but especially those who are experiencing their Jupiter returns. We will see notable examples of this in Bill Clinton’s life.

On a more negative note, becoming carried away with new ideas, and investing more hope in a new relationship than subsequent developments merit, are two distinct possibilities with the Jupiter in Libra combination. When Jupiter traverses this sign, there is a propensity for being carried away by unjustified optimism regarding what relationships can deliver, and this is a downside worth guarding against.

The Clients’ Stories

Let’s now take a look at what my intrepid band of research participants had to say about September 2016!

Nora, a musician, came for a reading on September 28, 2016. She has Neptune at 0° Libra in the 4th house, Neptune being her 9th-house ruler. I casually asked her if anything out of the ordinary had occurred around September 9. “Why, yes!” she replied. “The week after that date, I set up a new photographic society in my home village, returned to ballet classes, and started learning Qi Gong — so that I can teach it myself.”

CalendarEliza, whose progressed MC at 3° Libra (in the 11th house) is sextile Uranus conjunct the natal MC, reported September 9 to be very significant, “although apparently mundane. Our new cleaner came, the first since moving house nearly four years ago. I felt this was a major step forward as I had been completely blocked for these years and unable to give myself this privilege. (Too expensive, too difficult to arrange, etc.) I had been feeling increasingly overwhelmed by housework, so this represents a real liberation.” [She has a busy career as a therapist.]

Eliza also went to a well-known Buddhist centre in the Scottish Highlands on September 16 for a week to teach yoga on retreat; there, she met many new people, including an interesting new yoga teacher. At an astrology update reading on October 5, she reported that the retreat had been wonderfully affirming of her teaching, with one student planning to come over from Scandinavia to study with her.

Philippa’s 6th-house Sun at 1° Libra is part of a dynamic grand trine with her Ascendant at 1° Gemini and the South Node at 0° Aquarius conjunct her MC at 28° Capricorn. As you might expect, her father features prominently in her feedback, which was very detailed and striking. She said that on September 7, 2016, she got to see her father, who lives in the Philippines and whom she has not seen for two years. “I was actually dreading it as we have a very fractured relationship, or at least we did have. Both he and his wife came up to Glasgow to visit me and my daughter. Dinner went well, lots to catch up on. By the end of the evening, I was in awe of my father — for his ferocious appetite for life. He turns 70 this year. He and his wife run an organic farm on one of the islands, and have been working incredibly hard to get the place up and running properly. He is also completing his dissertation for his PhD.

“I love my father, but he and I fell out and have had a difficult relationship since my teens. This time, it was like all of the past hurt had been washed away, I had got my father back again. He really wants to help me to grow my business [Philippa teaches yoga and meditation] and gave me a large sum of money (something he has never done!) in order to help me build something profitable.

“That evening I went to bed and woke up at 1:11 a.m. exactly on September 8. I could feel this tremendous energy coming from my heart and pulsing incredibly strong. I sat up to do some yoga breathing. It was incredible, and I have no idea what it was.

“My father and I spent three days together, and I feel like a wound has healed. He has continued to help me strategically sort out my business, helping me to set goals for what I would like to achieve for my life and business within the next year. It’s been incredible. I have been asking the universe for a mentor and she has given me back my dad.”

Louise: A Longer Case Study

Louise is a single parent in her early 40s, who has carved a positive life for herself and her daughter from a very troubled and painful family past. Her daughter, Jess, started college in the autumn of 2016, thereby freeing Louise to plan her departure from one of the traditional professions in which she has worked with increasing reluctance for the last 20 years.

She has found recent Reiki therapeutic work and training to be transformative, helping her gain the confidence to take a business development course over the summer. In this course, she even won a competition by presenting one of her many ideas: a plan to set up an I Ching reading business on the web, doing videos and making I Ching cards. She has also signed up to take an online introductory astrology course. She has diverse talents and an unconventional streak regarding her occupational life, needing to find ways to accommodate all this.

LouiseI have included Louise’s horoscope because Jupiter’s ingress into Libra triggered major patterns: the very striking lineup of early-degree planets Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto; the harsh square between 9th-house Pluto in Libra conjunct the MC and 7th-house Saturn in Cancer; and the powerful minor grand trine2 bringing natal Jupiter, Neptune conjunct the Ascendant, and Pluto all together.

Her feedback for the period of Jupiter’s early September ingress into Libra, triggering the above lineup, is vivid and powerful — as indeed it is for the rest of September. In keeping with Jupiter’s fondness for excess, she also sent lots of it! This is a brief summary of a most distinctive, expansive, turbulent period of Louise’s life, mostly in her own words.

Feedback: September 14, 2016

“It’s been quite a tumultuous weekend, and the general themes are: how I earn a living (as usual!), how I express my emotions (I usually don’t but have been recently), and the support network I have around me just now (which is fantastic!).

“On Friday (September 9) … made the decision that I was going to distance myself from my business coach. Although an amazing opportunity, working with him has been a big challenge and has triggered a lot of stuff for me. I am constantly waiting for his advice, opinion, and approval (daddy issues!!!). I’ll have to take responsibility for myself and my future business/career rather than just do what he tells me.

“I also have an admirer who has been messaging me all week, but I decided today that he’s not for me and I’m going to distance myself.
“On Saturday (September 10), after several wonderful weeks off, I went back to work as a locum3 to pay the bills until my new venture takes off. I woke up feeling sick to the pit of my stomach and, despite working for only two hours and seeing only one client, I spent the rest of the day crying my eyes out and feeling as if I’m never going to escape it.”

Her daughter Jess and her former work colleagues were a great support in what proved to be a miserable weekend for Louise, continuing through Monday (September 12), when “I was still in a very low mood at the business development group.” She became tearful with her coach, who “promised he would help and support me in getting out of my current career.” Once again, colleagues were kind. A supportive call from the business coach caused her opinion of him to swing “for the millionth time from negative back to positive.” By Tuesday (September 13), her “emotional meltdown” had cleared.

Feedback: September 30, 2016

“After my meltdown about work, it finally dawned on me that it’s me who is choosing it. I made a very definite decision to stop choosing it and start putting my energy into all the new options that are opening up before me.”

This was followed by resignation from her professional association, the clearing out of old university notes, and a decision not to renew her professional licence in March 2017. “The following Saturday (September 17) I had to work again but felt a lot calmer and more detached. On Sunday (the 18th) I had to go to a work conference.” This would be the last she would ever attend, but positive encounters with people from her past professional life made it a good day: “Still very appreciative of the support networks I have and the new people I’m meeting, and feel as if I’ve found ‘my tribe.’

“The relationship with the coach is still causing a great deal of aggravation. I’m grateful that he’s set me on a new path, but he’s not the right coach for me. I’ll continue to attend group classes and learn what I can, but I’m having no more one-to-one meetings or phone calls and am not following his modus operandi of ‘rustle up any old thing to make a fast buck.’

authority“He's not the only authority figure I seem to be having problems with this month (not that this is unusual for me!). I seem to be questioning: Are certain people really who they say they are, and do they really know what they claim to know? Do they really know better than my own inner wisdom? Starting to feel I should have more confidence in myself and less unquestioning reliance on others.

“Finally, I did distance myself from my admirer but quite enjoyed the attention at the time and am going to make a more concerted effort to find a new partner. Lock up your sons, everybody!”

Feedback: October 3, 2016

“I collected my Level 2 Reiki certificate last night, so I can now work as a practitioner and intend to start building a client base straight away. I’ve started my astrology course … it feels good to have begun on that path.

“I’m about to start a blog about food addiction and weight loss. I also intend to work as an affiliate with an American lady who has brought out a commercial program about weight loss for food addicts. The lady in question does not know this yet!

“Lastly, people in the business development group keep telling me I should be in marketing, and they would be willing to pay me, so I’m going to look into that option.

“The business coach — who told me two months ago, when he chose me as the competition winner, that I was a natural at marketing and should be a consultant — has been telling me ever since that there’s no money in that … However, by amazing coincidence, he has this week announced that he’s setting up a marketing business! It seems he’s been deliberately leading me down the wrong path for months to protect his own interests rather than mine. Lots of lessons learned!”

And Now, Bill Clinton

Clinton’s horoscope — with its Libra Ascendant and 1st-house stellium of Mars, Neptune, Venus, Chiron and Jupiter all in Libra — is instantly recognisable and has been widely written about. All the Libran strengths and weaknesses are there, writ large and amplified by Jupiter’s presence: good looks, stellar charm, and the ability to relate to people and bring them together; considerable gifts as a lawyer, negotiator, and persuader; musicianship. Even his birthplace, Hope, Arkansas, bears that optimistic Jupiterian stamp.

Bill ClintonVenus in Libra has been described by astrologer Kelly Surtees as “cosmic honey.”4 This combination with Mars and Neptune gives us Clinton, the legendary charmer and seducer of women, with Chiron in the mix showing the wounding downside for others and himself of such excesses. It also gives us “slick Willie,” the ducker, weaver, and manipulator par excellence, who possesses a whole deck of metaphorical “get out of jail free” cards. Rumour and scandal have dogged his career since his earliest days in politics; he is the only U.S. president to have been impeached who continued to hold onto his job and serve out his full term of office.5

However, it is Clinton’s Jupiter returns with which I am mainly concerned here. All the planets have a return cycle, varying in length from the tiny 27.5-day lunar return to the epoch-defining 248-year return cycle of Pluto. Jupiter returns, in essence, bring us the chance to open up to new levels of experience and understanding, through new opportunities appearing which offer us the potential to grow and develop.

Here are the Jupiter in Libra periods during Clinton’s lifetime: August 1945 – September 1946, December 1956 – March 1958, November 1968 – April 1970, October 1980 – November 1981, October 1992 – November 1993, September 2004 – October 2005, and the current period of September 2016 – October 2017. Readers will have to do their own research for Clinton’s first three Jupiter in Libra returns (1956–81). There is only space for this article to look briefly at the more recent ones — and to speculate what this current Jupiter return may bring. Given that his Ascendant and four planets plus Chiron occupy almost the whole of Libra, I am treating the entire year of Jupiter’s transit through Libra as his Jupiter return!

The period of October 1992 – November 1993 saw Clinton elected as president of the United States in November 1992, taking office in January 1993. September 2004 –October 2005 produced another high point for Clinton: His autobiography My Life — a gargantuan 1,008 pages long, much to the mirth of some commentators — was published in June 2004; it was a runaway success, selling some 2.25 million copies and netting Clinton the world’s largest book advance of $15 million. The audiobook, read by Clinton himself, also won a Grammy award in 2005 for Best Spoken Word Album.6

And what of the September 2016 – October 2017 Jupiter return period for Bill Clinton? Although there were a range of achievements during the entire periods in the previous two examples, I chose to feature one particular high point from each. As I write this article in October 2016, it is obvious that one would have to be hiding in a remote cave somewhere without Wi-Fi not to know that Clinton’s wife Hillary is running for president. Her campaign was damaged at an early stage by her very public collapse whilst trying to work through a bout of pneumonia. However, sexual scandal erupting around Donald Trump during the time of their three debates, combined with Hillary’s generally assured performances, have placed her in the lead in the two weeks prior to the November 8, 2016 presidential election.

By the time this article appears in February/March 2017, we will know the outcome. However, Bill Clinton’s sixth Jupiter return — if the series runs true to form — should produce another high point of public achievement, success, and recognition for him. Bill as First Gentleman, anyone?


I chose Nora, Eliza, Philippa, and Louise because their planetary placements (and the progressed MC, in Eliza’s case) were striking — right at the beginning of Libra. Surely, I thought, their experiences would clearly reveal the dynamic, expansive impact of Jupiter’s entry into that sign, with its emphasis on education, arts, and relationships. As you can see from their feedback, this has indeed proved to be the case. Bill Clinton’s life also proved to be a gift in illustrating how recurring life-pattern themes unfold in tune with the planetary cycles.

I love doing this kind of simple, direct research. And it fits the current spirit of Jupiter in Libra really well: a cooperative, fun, educational exercise that brings astrologer and clients together in an equal partnership, offering a small but meaningful example of how clearly our tiny personal lives respond to the vast, ever-changing energy field of space and time.

Chart Data and Sources:
(in order of appearance)
Louise, birth data are confidential, but the source is AA: birth certificate.
Bill Clinton, August 19, 1946; 8:51 a.m. CST; Hope, AR, USA (33°N40’, 93°W35’); A: mother’s memory.

References and Notes:
(All URLs were accessed in October 2016.)
1. William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell,” from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790–93).
2. “The minor grand trine is a common aspect pattern. It occurs when one planet sextiles two planets that are in a trine aspect [to each other] … This favorable pattern is associated with creativity and intelligence.” (http://astrologyclub.org/aspect-patterns/).
3. A locum is “a person who stands in temporarily for another member of the same profession …” (http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/locum).
4. from the blog post “Cosmic Honey: Venus in Libra,” November 9, 2015 (http://kellysastrology.com).
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton#Impeachment_and_acquittal
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Award_for_Best_Spoken_Word_Album#2000s

Image sources:
Charts provided by author/TMA
Jupiter/Libra: CC0 Public Domain, by TBIT and versal1992, via pixabay.com
Calendar: CC0 Public Domain, by Emmie_Norfolk, via pixabay.com
Aries & Libra: CC0 Public Domain, by Alexas_Fotos, via pixabay.com
Authorities: CC0 Public Domain, by geralt, via pixabay.com

First published in: The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/Mar 2017.

Anne WhitakerAnne Whitaker lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. She has an extensive background in adult education, generic and psychiatric social work, and private practice as a counsellor, counselling supervisor, and mentor. She has been an astrologer, teacher, and writer since 1983. Anne blogs at http://www.astrologyquestionsandanswers.com and can be found via info@anne-whitaker.com, Facebook, and Twitter @annewhitaker. Anne runs a busy practice worldwide, thanks to Skype. Her special interest is in working with clients who are keen to benefit and learn as much as possible from their Jupiter and Saturn returns.

© 2017 - Anne Whitaker - published by The Mountain Astrologer

Current Planets
22-Mar-2018, 15:45 UT/GMT
Moon557' 4"16n36
Pluto213' 0"21s27
TrueNode1345' 2"r16n42
Explanations of the symbols
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