It’s been an interesting end of summer for me, with themes of aging, death, and family issues unfolding in a way that is very Jupiter in Scorpio. I’ve been thinking a lot about death and regeneration, and what it means to let go—and receive—with grace. What will this process will feel like now that we finally have more planets turning to direct motion again?
I was listening to a podcast by Kim Marie of the Evolutionary Astrology school and she had some interesting things to say about the 20 year cycle that Jupiter and Saturn have with each other. I have to admit I don’t think about these planetary cycles that much; they are kind of abstract and because of the scale of time involved it’s hard for me to relate to them personally. But I found her comments interesting and you can listen to that podcast for 8/30-9/5 here. But let me explain the gist of her ideas below.
Saturn & Jupiter Cycle: Rebirth & Decay
Saturn and Jupiter conjoin every 20 years and then move apart. The first 10 years of the cycle is one for growth and re-birthing, and then the two have their opposition. The last 10 years, after the opposition, is a cycle of decay and letting go. Jupiter and Saturn are in the latter stage of that cycle, and will have their conjunction again in Capricorn in late 2020—on the winter solstice, no less. (There are actually some other significant planetary cycles that are re-starting in 2020 too, and astrologers are calling it a “societal reset.” We shall see!)
Also, we’ve had 7 planetary retrogrades for the last few months. Mars turned direct August 27, Saturn makes his turnaround on September 6, and Pluto will turn forward on September 30. Both Saturn and Pluto are in Capricorn (and will conjoin in 2020 too, on January 12 at 18’ Cap). These retrogrades, as I’ve discussed, have been about reviewing and resetting patterns and beliefs, including those ideas and structures we’ve built up around power, fear, death, transformation, money, and all the stuff that lies below the surface of life. Now that many planets are moving forward, and taking into consideration the cycle that Jupiter and Saturn are in, it’s time to re-birth and rebuild upon the fertile ground left by what is dying or in decay.
Resistance or Surrender?
In my own life, my grandpa, who lost his wife of 75 years in January, is grappling with his loss of ability to live alone. Thankfully he has a loving daughter (my mom) to help him, and my sister, father, and I have been spending time with him too, getting his house ready to sell, and being of moral support (and making a lot of food!).
But no matter the love that surrounds him, my papa, now 93, no longer has his physical, emotional, or even societal power. He is having difficult feelings. Understandably, he is resisting the changes to his life. Yet—so clearly there is a death that needs to happen: the death of his old life. A big part of that left with my grandma. And I’m seeing the human drama play out in this everyday, melancholy experience. Change happens. Sometimes we have choices that appeal to us, sometimes we don’t. I’ve been there; I’m sure you have too. And now that moving and letting go of possessions and autonomy is what is arising for my grandpa, what kinds of choices is he going to make? Will he reach within to both surrender to what has to happen while at the same time actively choose to live as powerfully as he can? Or will he literally die of boredom and sadness? I know what I hope for, but I also know it’s not my life to live.
Saturn and Jupiter both offer energy to building/expansion and decay. Saturn’s transit in his own sign of Capricorn gives us the opportunity to build a house that we truly want to live in—whether that is as a society or as an individual—rather than just make do with the house we’ve inherited. All kinds of structures are in difficult death throes, not the least of which is the patriarchy. What will we build instead? And can we let what needs to die pass away? I think we can all agree that there is plenty of resistance. And when we resist what is arising, we suffer.
Surrender and flow are not the same as passivity and giving up. This is something we really struggle with in our culture, and that I struggle with personally. And yet this is my work, spiritually, to let go of the idea that I’m always in control and that I have to fight and resist as my only form of maintaining this illusion. I don’t know about you, but I am afraid of letting go. I am afraid of flow, surrender, and merging my idea of personal will with the will of a Divine power.
Yet—at least in my experience—when I do, life is really so much more easeful and I see the magic that is inherent in Life. Things still happen when I surrender and work with what is arising. I create, life moves forward. I don’t become a powerless victim or a power-crazed control freak. Until, of course, I do, again. And the whole process starts over: fear, tension, control, insomnia, anxiety, surrender, flow, ahhhhh, aha!
I want to say to my grandpa, “surrender … flow into your new environment, flow with your grief … it might be amazing in ways you can’t imagine from here!” And I do try, without trying to control his reaction, to make this idea available.
Jupiter cannot expand his goodness into a cup that is already full. Saturn cannot build effectively on a site that contains an existing structure. Letting these planets have the room to act in our lives in an open and allowing way minimizes those cataclysms that life brings to jolt us out of torpor, fear, and resistance. Sometimes this means we have to be empty for a while. Without structure, with an empty cup. This feels really uncomfortable. Yet, if we can stay with it, something new, fertile, and fresh will come in.
This is my work right now, anyway. I’m grateful, frustrated, scared, bored, and resistant. I’m also pretty excited too. What’s around the corner? What will the next tide bring in? I’m willing to surf, though I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time.
What Are You Experiencing?
Where do you see the cycles of decay and re-birth wanting to occur in your life? Look to the parts of your chart that are in the signs of Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, or Libra. Where is Jupiter active for you, in Scorpio? Are you resisting what wants to die? Can you find compassion and the courage to let go? Are you in right relationship to your power, or feeling victimized or frantic for control?
The planets work with us, for our highest good. Everything is here to help us. That may sound pollyanna and woo, but man, if it’s all just a story, I like to pick the story that makes me feel good.
Blessings to you … and if you need help, I’m here 🙂