The Jupiter Cycle
Wherever Jupiter is in our chart is where we can renew our faith in life, regain a feeling that life is worth living, and capture an optimistic attitude, find hope. Jupiter is larger than life, the part of us that has an urge to expand and gather all the knowledge and experience the world has to offer.
Jupiter is not the will to live, but the enjoyment and embracing of life itself. Jupiter is so big (it is appropriately the biggest planet in our solar system) that wherever it is in our chart, we can be even bigger than we think we can. In fact, we may even find we are underestimating ourselves. Jupiter's location in our chart tells us where we need to take a leap of faith and trust that the Universe will meet us and lift us up, if we just believe and take the step. It is also known as the planet of luck. This is not because Jupiter showers gifts down on everyone automatically (although in a Jupiter time of your life things can seem to go more smoothly than usual), but to those who take a risk, Jupiter truly delivers. It's like entering a contest - you can't win if you don't play. You can't succeed if you don't try.
Jupiter does not encourage our meekness or humility, but instead encourages our confidence. However, we must also be careful of over-inflation. Imagine having so much faith and trust in life that you would not think twice about walking down a dark alley because you are invincible! We must be smart about where we direct this expansive energy. The dark side of Jupiter is actually SO much light that all common sense floats away. Wide-eyed optimism can get us into trouble. Or we can simply become lazy, getting by on our luck instead of participating in the creation of it.
Jupiter in Transit
Wherever Jupiter is visiting in your chart, there is usually an accompanying feeling of freedom, where there is no restraint, no need for carefulness or a watchful eye. Jupiter is not about rules or being careful. It's a gambler; it wants you to feel free, lucky, like the Universe is on your side. In gambling, you can win and you can lose. But you can't do either of those things if you don't play at all. So there'll always be a risk that Jupiter is asking you to take. Will you take it? Can you recognize what it is? The challenge here is to ask for the right thing, to use the opportunities wisely. We all know the old saying 'Be careful about what you wish for.' We may sleepwalk through the opportunities as we often are vulnerable to doing when things are going well, or we may take the leap off the wrong cliff entirely and get something we really didn't want. Jupiter is like a matching funds program run by the Universe. Take the step and it helps you take two more. If we expand with nothing but hot air inside of us, our bubble will no doubt be burst by the pin of reality.
The Jupiter Return
Jupiter takes just under 12 years to return to the place it was at the time of your birth. Most people will experience a fair share of them by the time their current incarnation is finished. We all have Jupiter somewhere in our charts, so there is somewhere in our life where we are learning about trusting the Universe, about having faith, taking risks, learning to gamble a bit, and learning to stop underestimating ourselves and life itself. So when Jupiter returns to the place it was when you were born, this is a revisit to those issues. Jupiter comes back and reminds you about the opportunities you need to be looking for and taking and creating in your life. It's a reminder that you are bigger than you think you are. Circumstances arrange themselves to pave the way, and Jupiter asks you "when are you going to start walking this path instead of being wistful about what might have been?" Sometimes "it's never too late" does apply in our lives -- but in a Jupiter return time life is trying to get you to remember that doors don't always stay open, and while we can work to open our own doors and make our own opportunities, the timing is important during a Jupiter return, because the Universe is trying to hold doors open for you during this window of time. So, it may not be a case of now or never, but it will be a case of "this is as pretty as this opportunity is going to look -- take it!"
If you decide not to take these opportunities or not to see them at all, usually nothing obviously horrible happens. The doors close. The Universe puts its hands back in its pockets. In fact, nothing usually happens at all if you ignore potential. But isn't that a pretty big tragedy in itself?