While the current Mercury retrograde may only last another week, ending on the 25th, the simultaneous annual Jupiter retrograde, which started late last week, will continue for another 4 months until 8 May. All the planets, excluding the Sun and Moon, turn to make an apparent retrograde motion through the zodiac annually, so it’s not unusual to have one or two in your birth chart, or to experience their effects on a regular basis. While the Mercury retrograde is the most well known, occurring more often, the Jupiter one may be less so, and is indeed less disruptive. Nevertheless it still has a particular emphasis or theme from which we can benefit.
Since Jupiter traditionally represents higher learning or tertiary education, as well as philosophical or religious inclinations, law, overseas travel or broadened horizons, we can say for certain that the quest for knowledge, truth and meaning may be equally present during the retrograde phase but it will only really satisfy when turned inward. Answers and meaning may more readily appeal when one looks inside for the existential answers to the questions of life, the universe and everything. Jupiter in the horoscope points to the quality of one’s faith, and despite the external foundations of faith that we may have, like religious or philosophical texts, leaders and guides, our faith may require at this time some degree of inner validation or confirmation. Real upliftment or spiritual inspiration may need to come from within, or from one’s own inner realizations during times of private contemplation or meditation. Of course these internal conclusions may well concur with external sources, and usually they do, lest we end up basing our truth on pure speculation or concoction, but they will need to feel as if they came from ourselves, that they were our personal realization or it was our choice to conclude thus. Generally there are three basic sources of truth or philosophical perspective on reality, namely valid texts (book Bhagavat), qualified gurus or teachers (person Bhagavat) or finally the guru in the heart (Supersoul or Chaitya guru). The first two are the usual sources from which we gain insights, while the third source, although available to one and all, is much more difficult to access by the average seeker. Not many of us have the training or purity of heart to be able to simply sit in meditation and expect to hear the voice of the Supersoul, the guru in the heart, speak to us or answer our questions. Neale Donald Walsh may have had his “Conversations with God”, and the Hicks couple may be able to hear and channel the guidance of “Abraham”, but these insights, although often quite meaningful cannot be seen as anything close to revelations from the Source. They and numerous other “channellings” can, at best, be seen as the inspired words of the speakers themselves. To think otherwise is to tread the delicate path of mental speculation, not a safe technique when contemplating the profound absolutes or great perennial questions of life and eschatology. To be qualified to actually hear the voice of the Supersoul requires a level of meditation that may take years to perfect, if not lifetimes. Yet still many propound to be hearing the voice of God telling them to buy this lotto ticket or harm that person or culture. These are the delusions of the mind that can bewilder the naïve or ego-inflated seeker who feels that he or she is qualified to have a direct line of communication to the Source. In every religion, academic institution of place of learning there will be those who feel as if they are God’s chosen representatives, the chosen ones who have the inside track on truth. Usually these people are either megalomaniacs or charlatans ripping you off by soliciting your donations in the name of God. So when we say that one may need to look within to find meaning and answers during the retrograde phase of Jupiter, the implication is that truth is absolute, so it is not going to change much whether coming from a text, a teacher or within. Truth is not relative. It does not change with time, place or circumstance. So if we are receiving insights or guidance from within, the proof of its validity is that it will concur with what has been presented as truth for time immemorial, as well as with what previous masters have presented over the millennia.
It is totally understandable why some seekers today are so wary of ancient texts and teachers, considering the tampering of translations, the personal agendas of teachers or the political motives of institutions, as well as the historical redundancy that may appear in some texts in relation to our current time in history. Certainly hijackers have been around throughout history who have distorted the message to fit their personal agenda. Nevertheless there are still valid ancient texts in their original languages, like Sanskrit or Aramaic, that discuss profound abstract concepts of origins and identity which can still be found and investigated. And the historical lives and commentaries of certain saints in history are also still available to cross reference and apply to our lives today. After all humans today are non different from those thousands of years ago. We are still being born from the womb, growing, producing by-products, getting old, sick and dying. And most of these transitions are still part of the generally hard and painful struggle for existence. Our origins are the same as ever, the fundamentals are the same, only the frills have changed, the externals. So we may appear to have advanced as a species over the past several thousand years, but since there are limited records of previous ages, who can actually say that we are better off now that during the previous Vedic ages before Kali Yuga, for example? We may have gained the ability to stave off certain diseases, but have we stopped death? We may have evolved a refined economic system but have we ended poverty, corruption and inequality? We may even appear to have an advanced judicial or political system, but have we ended despotism, tyranny or crime? Indeed the human race is as savage as ever, apparently even more so compared to the golden age of old. The polished externals mean little when the fundamentals are the same as ever, and good and evil are as evident as ever in our dog-eat-dog existence.
So during Jupiter’s retrograde period of four months now, the focus should ideally turn to inner growth, a purification of heart, a change of perception that results in a better human being, a restoration of faith. The external growth or expansion usually connected to Jupiter will mean little and will not be quite as satisfying to the heart now. What is the use of so much shallow external profit if the soul is tainted by the very technique of acquisition and expansion. Our support for exploitative corporations needs to be reviewed. Never can we expect to feel ourselves to be living a life of meaning and value when our actions of acquisition are blatantly exploiting or causing suffering to another person, creature or ultimately the planet. External expansion based on exploitation only leads to moral degradation and a withering of the inner level of value, of your true value as a human being. So take this opportunity to look within, evaluate your behaviour, commitments and beliefs, as well as your investments of time and money, and honestly appraise yourself to see whether you are really enriching your life on a soul level, on a moral level, or merely padding your chariot as it drifts toward the gutters of history.