Jupiter is the planet of luck, optimism, good natured wit, and expansive concepts. Also called Sky Father, and our personal favorite Jove (as in “By Jove!”). Jupiter is the great “concept guy” in the sky nudging us with signs and synchronicity, hunch and intuition. Vedic astrology refers to the Jupiter retrograde as Guru Vakri. When the world last experienced this zodiacal configuration in 2008 there was a housing crisis, a local and global economic recession, an epidemic and war going on around the globe in several places.
However, this period was not all bad… there were accomplishments in all manner of trade, industry and technology and as each of us cast our thoughts back in time, we can see our own challenges and achievements in context to the last Jupiter retrograde. A planetary retrograde appears to see the planet moving backward, yet it is an illusion – the motion of the planet changes vertically as well as horizontally, forming a type of looping action causing the appearance of it moving backwards in the sky, from our perspective here on Earth.
On June 20th, 2021, Jupiter began its retrograde cycle which lasts 120 days. Before this, his most recent retrograde occurred back in May 2008. One Jovian year, or Jupiter’s path around the Sun, takes 12 Earth years to complete. So, we won’t expect to see another until around the year 2033. The Jupiter retrograde is a wave of empowering energy disguised as challenges, obstacles and restriction. It commands introspection and self-awareness in order to adapt and cope with external factors beyond our control.
The Power of 12
The retrograde and the Jovian year both contain the number 12, significant to our calendar in terms of our structure of time, 12 is a central theme for our concept of Time. Jovian retrograde lends a determination to projects and endurance to sustain the entrepreneur. The energy is that of the “nick of time” but stands on the shoulders of hard work, preparation and tenacious endeavor. This is a good time to start a new discipline, habit or routine that we know will elevate our quality of life, with extra fuel for those who really commit to the project, habit, routine or other beneficial change.
We are encouraged to be of service to others, but this period of time in service to the Self in the highest form where we truly examine and address issues we carry, and can be very beneficial; truths will surface, blind spots revealed and once we are aware, we are empowered with knowledge to take steps. It could be a dietary habit that is not serving the physical vehicle (the body) and if continued it may lead to certain health issues and other health related problems, for example. By striving to understand the true needs of self and behavior or habits that need to be adjusted and improved upon, we have the opportunity to use the Jupiter retrograde as fuel for positive self-change. In this way, we use or harness the “nick of time” etheric structure of this aspect and turn its momentum to our own best interests.
Chanting a Sanskrit mantra is helpful for all planets, and they offer specific chants applicable to each; we recommend that anyone who is aware of generally unfavorable aspects of Jupiter in their natal chart to incorporate mantra into their spiritual practice as a way to soften karma and mitigate the unfavorable aspect. This is a very empowering practice and is particularly beneficial during this planetary configuration if one has an unfavorable aspect of Jupiter present in one’s natal chart. This practice would benefit or soften aspects of the retrograde that have to do with unlucky timing, life’s sometimes unpleasant surprises, difficulties with employment or with retaining employment and feelings of failure, being down and out, or that there are limited opportunities available.
Jupiter Retrograde - A Time to be Proactive
Taking positive action such as stocking the first aid kit, fire-extinguishers reset, batteries in smoke or CO2 detectors changed, vehicles serviced, computers backed up and any other tools necessary for our existence in any surprise situation, is a good idea and will give us peace of mind. They say fortune favors the bold and while this is true, when it comes to Jovian retrograde, fortune tends to favor those best prepared for surprises of all kinds. If we assess our inner needs and do the associated work, we can transform our lives and empower our existence.
The other side of this coin is the inability to see the long view, feeling overwhelmed at even small obstacles that are not significant to the big picture, unless we allow them to be. To adapt and change our perspective using this retrograde energy is to develop a skill that will open up our ability to take stock of reality without feeling overwhelmed or helpless and may even help us to see opportunity where others see none!
The Great Cosmic Game
Jupiter is gentle but firm, showing us but not forcing us, and until we are willing to look at the things we avoid, he will not push us to do so. In a real sense, all retrogrades and planetary alignments that are thought of as challenging are there for our ultimate good, and upliftment in some way. That said, we must also participate in the Great Cosmic Game by being present in our reality and with feet on the ground, always looking to the heavens for guidance and following that direction as best we can.
Guru Vakri of 2021 will carry through Summer and echoes into the Fall of 2021, roughly five times the length of a Mercury retrograde. Although it is challenging, there is no need to fear it. It is simply another cycle that we endure and learn from and is there, ultimately to serve us and our highest good. It is said that Jupiter the god is fond of gifts, and that he was won over and appeased by offerings. To have him smile as he does his retrograde dance, burn some copal resin incense, or smudge with white sage; perhaps wear a splash of royal blue, or purple on a Thursday, with a smile and a wink, by Jove!
When we prepare, we can be ready for 90% of what life brings, for the rest we turn to the roadmap of the stars, the ancient science of Astrology.
May you always know which way to go.