Beginning on August 11, 2016, and lasting until September 11, 2017, Jupiter will transit in the constellation of Virgo, known as Kanya rashi in Vedic astrology. Jupiter transits through one sign every ~12 years, and the last time it was in Virgo was from August 2004 to September 2005. The good news is that Jupiter in Virgo moves way from its conjunction with shadowy Rahu in Leo, and also away from the karmic restrictions of transiting Saturn’s square aspect from Scorpio (known as Saturn’s tenth aspect in Vedic astrology).
In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is the significator (karaka) of dharma, the principle of cosmic order which is akin to our highest path and purpose. Known as Guru in Vedic astrology, Jupiter is the head honcho of all the gods and represents the concept of divine grace. Jupiter reflects spiritual protection, wisdom, faith, higher learning, confidence and progress. For some (depending on how Virgo falls in the natal chart and how the rest of the natal chart and other transits and progressed cycles are running), hope and luck will be restored as Jupiter the Cosmic Protector moves away from the aggravating, fear-inducing and constraining clutches of these “tough guy” malefics Rahu and Saturn. Yet because we exist within duality, everything is good for something and bad for something, and in this case, many astrologers have expressed concern about Rahu operating through Leo (for the next year) unchecked by the grace of Jupiter, a situation which could be better for Virgo and not as good for Leo. So anyway, when the dharma karaka transits in Virgo constellation, what might we expect?
Well, first of all, Jupiter tends to emphasize, support or expand the sign and house that it transits and aspects. In Virgo, Jupiter will enhance the artha trikona rashis, i.e., the earth element triangle, which is composed of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. The artha signs represent the physical and material support of life, relating to business, wealth, work, material success, problem-solving and recognition. In addition, Virgo’s mundane significations include:
- Armed Services.
- Agriculture and food production and development.
- Working classes and labor unions.
- Humanitarian relief societies (selfless service/seva, ministries of aid, peacekeeping organizations).
- Disease and healthcare/medical-pharmaceutical industries including research and development (Virgo is the 6th sign, corresponding to the 6th house of the astrological chart which relates to disease).
- Generally, science and technology, as in the detailed ideas and skills that sustain the world.
Jupiter in Virgo is considered to be in detriment in western astrology, a somewhat weakened placement for a planet. This weakness can refer to the struggle between idealism and reality, in that we may have high ethical and philosophical ideals, but putting them into action can be a challenge. Conversely, Jupiter in Virgo is often expressed as being excessively materialistic, conservative or mundane. A concept similar to detriment plays out in Vedic astrology, wherein Jupiter (Guru or Brihaspati) sees Virgo’s ruler Mercury as an enemy. The Puranic myth about the high priest Brihaspati and his wife Tara is an allegory about their enmity. The story goes something like this:
Tara had an extramarital affair with the Moon (Chandra) because her husband Brihaspati was too busy being a priest to attend to his marital life. Her union with Chandra resulted in an illegitimate child named Budha (Mercury), whom Brihaspati was forced to accept. We’re talking major dysfunctional family dynamics here, which symbolize a great variety of human conflicts that will probably come into focus during this transit.
One of these conflicts may revolve around how we integrate higher principles into everyday work and useful service, as touched on above. The metaphor is, how do we bring the priest down out of his ivory tower to serve the common good in ordinary practical ways, according to higher principles but without losing the all-encompassing, broad-minded view?
Similarly, Jupiter in Virgo can highlight issues of spiritual/religious hypocrisy and also, “Spiritual Bypassing,” a term recently popularized by Dr. Robert Augustus Masters, which was originally coined by John Welwood, clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, teacher and author, to describe using a spiritual crutch to “avoid facing unresolved wounds, painful feelings and developmental needs…using the Dharma as a way to avoid the human side of life.” (Welwood).
Thomas Mann and Jack Kerouac are two renowned authors born when Jupiter transited in Virgo. Mann (1875) was the greatest German novelist of the 20th century who often explored themes related to the seduction of spirituality and the duality of nature versus spirit (Virgo-Mercury/Jupiter). He often wrote about the tension between good and evil, and said, “Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil,” which points to the essence of Jupiter in Virgo with its practical wisdom.
Jack Kerouac was the iconic Beat Generation poet and novelist born in 1922. Though religion and spirituality were a huge part of his identity, he at times embodied Jupiter in Virgo’s cynical nature and was somewhat tortured and often unsure about his beliefs. As a spiritual eclectic, he wrote in Dharma Bums that he felt “suppressed by this need to separate Buddhism from Christianity, East from West…what the hell difference does it make?” Jupiter in Virgo can be spiritually inclusive, yet also down-to-earth, sensible and realistic, and thus often plagued by the complexities that arise when one attempts to live according to higher principles. Kerouac even said once, “The fact was I had the vision…I think everyone has…what we lack is the method.” That statement is exactly the tension expressed by Jupiter in Virgo.
Some more orthodox systems of Vedic astrology say that Jupiter in any earth sign (like Virgo) is “unfavorable.” This is thought to be so partly because Jupiter the planet of religion is in dignity in fire (dharma) and water (moksha) signs, and therefore not considered to be “spiritual’ ” in earth (artha) or air (kama) signs. I do not subscribe to this kind of thinking in astrology, and it is absolutely useless when counseling someone to say something like this: “Oh, sorry, but your Jupiter is ‘unfavorable.’” It is useless to post a blog that says Jupiter is moving into Virgo and so this is “unfavorable.” What does that even mean when we are talking about a human being or the world at large?
In duality, nothing is all unfavorable or all favorable. The world is not so black and white! I was taught to focus on what something in astrology is good for, and to find solutions (remedies) for what is “unfavorable.” And if you look at history and charts of people with Jupiter in earth signs, it is not always so “unfavorable” for everything. Some of our finest artists, authors, leaders, healers, astrologers, inventors, musicians and athletes have been born with Jupiter in earth signs. Some of them are also quite “spiritual.” However, it is true that religious/spiritual leaders and those who “strictly” follow religious orders and spiritual groups are not often born with Jupiter in earth signs.
Jupiter’s transit in Virgo has occurred in past periods of history when the working and middle classes (Virgo) have been inspired by a charismatic leader in a populist movement to question and dismantle existing establishments and forms of governance (Jupiter). The laboring classes rising up against the “Man” expresses the underlying conflict between Budha/Mercury and his step-father Brihaspati/Jupiter. It’s about a search for legitimacy (justice) in a world where this does not really exist, at least not unconditionally.
Please keep in mind that political movements and cultural trends occur throughout history during a variety of astrological transits and progressions which are always happening concurrently. I am of course very aware that it is never just one aspect, planet or sign that is involved. That said, Jupiter in sidereal Virgo seems to be showing a signature of sorts. Looking at it more closely, here are a few of my thoughts about Jupiter’s transit in sidereal Virgo:
Jupiter was in sidereal Virgo during the following events:
- 1886 during three days of race riots in Seattle (anti-Chinese labor protests). In the same year, there were also violent labor protests in Chicago. During this time, Rahu (foreigners) was also in Leo (enemy sign of Rahu) as it will be during the remainder of 2016 and through the first half of 2017.
- 1909-1910 during a rise of populism in Great Britain and in America. In 1910, Teddy Roosevelt, a progressive candidate in the presidential race at the time, gave his Square Deal speech aimed at mitigating social evils and battling the existing plutocracy.
- In 1921-22, a fascist trend started to grow in Germany, Russia and Italy.
- In 1922, Gandhi was imprisoned for civil disobedience in India.
- In 1945, the Labor Party won the parliamentary elections in the UK. The charter of the United Nations (UN), which replaced the League of Nations, was also ratified this year. Among its objectives are the idea of promoting human rights, maintaining international peace, fostering social and economic development, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict (all very Jupiter in Virgo concerns).
- Mao Tse-tung and Ho Chi Minh came to power in 1945.
- Castro rose to power in 1956.
- Martin Luther King began to come into influence in 1956-1957.
- Jupiter was in Virgo from October 1968 to November 1969 during Nixon’s Vietnamization in Southwest Asia. It was also the year when the US and USSR and about 100 other countries ratified the first nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Quadaffi deposed King Idris of Libya to establish a pro-Arabic anti-western Islamic republic. The Stonewall Riots occurred in New York, ushering in the beginning of the gay rights movement. And it was a big year for campus protests and anti-war demonstrations.
- Donald Trump was born during Jupiter in Virgo in June 1946. When he was born, Jupiter was stationary, i.e., appearing to have stopped in preparation to turn direction, known as stambhan in Vedic astrology. As Jupiter turned direct within a few hours after Mr. Trump’s birth, this qualifies Jupiter as exceedingly strong and fortunate. Jupiter planet of fortune sits in his second artha (money) house in artha sign Virgo, in exact lucky trine to Uranus, Sun and North Node Rahu also in an artha sign and house (Taurus, tenth house). All this power in the artha signs and houses reflects Donald Trump’s enormous and rare success as a business tycoon, real estate mogul, media genius and TV personality, author and now politician. Mr. Trump’s Jupiter (dharma karaka) exactly conjoins Saturn (karma karaka) in the tenth house of the US Kelleher chart, and his powerful approaching Jupiter Return will trigger that conjunction around the time of the election, which is a strong indication for a possible election win. The jury’s still out on this, and I still feel it’s too early to tell for sure as certain significant world events are yet to transpire which can influence the course of the election.
Another trend I have noticed is that during Jupiter’s transit in Virgo, the world has often suffered through costly natural and man-made catastrophes which required significant humanitarian relief. Virgo is the sixth sign corresponding to the sixth house of the astrological chart, known as satru, ari, roga or ripa bhava in Vedic astrology, which relate to enemies, accidents, disasters, conflicts, war, debt and disease.
For instance, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred when Jupiter was in Virgo. Additionally, many devastating hurricanes have occurred during this transit, including the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1945, Hurricane Audrey in 1956, Hurricane Camille in 1969, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (which happened in August right before the Jupiter Virgo ingress), the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mercury rules storms, and with the expansive Jupiter in his sign, we can probably expect some big ones.
On a positive note, technological and medical discoveries and advancements often are made during Jupiter in Virgo transits. For instance, insulin was discovered in 1921. Perhaps in the coming year, we may finally see some significant breakthroughs in immunotherapy cancer treatment. Coca-Cola, a soda fountain drink made with carbonated water and medicinal cola syrup, was first created by an American pharmacist named Dr. John Pemberton in 1886 during Jupiter in Virgo. It was then marketed as “The Pause That Refreshes,” though nowadays it has become unpopular due to its reputation as “The Deadliest Beverage.”
The Juno probe has just recently descended into Jupiter’s orbit and will remain there throughout the Jupiter Virgo transit, performing in its important mission until its death plunge in February 2018. Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, was launched in 1957 during Jupiter in Virgo; and in 1969, also during Jupiter in Virgo, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon — unless you subscribe to the conspiracy theory that we never landed on the Moon! And that’s a different topic for another day anyway, which actually is something Jupiter in Virgo is supposed to be really good at…that is, using logic and facts to sift truth from illusion.