Roles: what brings you joy; where you find luck; your philosophy; what you have in abundance

Designation: Benefic

Speed Through a Sign: 1 year

Speed Through the Zodiac: 12 years

Dignity: Sagittarius

Exaltation: Cancer

Detriment: Gemini

Fall: Capricorn

Retrograde: about once a year

Big, bold Jupiter is a favorite in astrology. Its job is to make us happy. You don’t have to put in much work to gain Jupiter’s benefits. Wherever it falls in your chart is where you get the most rewards, be it money, marriage, children, education, career, or whatever else.1 It’s where and how you party. It’s your brand of optimism. It’s where and how you gain the kind of knowledge that goes beyond everyday facts, figures, and logic. Jupiter shows your life’s philosophy, as well as how you teach and what kind of wisdom you share with others. It’s also where you tend to overexert yourself and where you’re willing to take risks.

Jupiter is a benefic, just like Venus is. It makes whatever it touches a little better. Whatever house2 you have Jupiter in, that’s the area of life that’s most fortunate for you. You get seemingly unlimited rewards when it comes to things concerning that house. And whatever relationship Jupiter has with other planets, even if it’s a challenging one, things will be relatively easy. Jupiter takes about a year to a year and a half to go through one sign. Most of your peers and friends will have Jupiter in the same sign or the sign before or after (unless you have mostly older or younger friends). You’re more likely to share similar philosophies on life and express your optimism in similar ways. Maybe you have an Aquarius Sun; you’re quirky, inventive, and friendly with a bit of aloofness. You express yourself best while being part of a group, expressing your uniqueness, and rebelling every once in a while. If you also have Jupiter in Sagittarius, your freedom-loving tendencies are even more potent. You’re thoroughly interested in philosophy, publishing, ethics, and/or teaching. You’ll be optimistic even if you do seem cold and indifferent at times. You and your friends love to have fun and travel to new places. Even if you have your Suns in different signs, there’s a mutual understanding between you.

Jupiter is dignified in Sagittarius and exalted in Cancer. These signs let Jupiter convey its happy-go-lucky nature and refrain from disciplining or restricting this giant planet. Cancer is like a caring mother who allows Jupiter to have freedom while gently protecting it from overly risky behavior. Cancer lets Jupiter ride a motorcycle, as long as it always wears its helmet and rides at safe speeds. In contrast, Sagittarius lets Jupiter go full-throttle. While giving Jupiter freedom is the right thing to do, it can be a very irresponsible planet, having too much of a good time and leading itself into danger. Jupiter has the hardest time in Gemini and Capricorn. Gemini, though fun, is a stickler for concrete facts and trivial information, like sports stats, gossip, and daily news. The things Gemini strives to know are too mundane for Sagittarius, who thrives best when it comes to bigger questions that don’t have a concrete answer. Just what is democracy? What is spirituality? What is love? Even if Jupiter and Gemini both love their games and parties, Jupiter will quickly tire of Gemini going on and on about which celebrity couple just had a baby. Who cares? In its sign of fall, Capricorn, Sagittarius won’t have to bear with random trivia; however, it won’t be allowed to do anything for fun. Capricorn is a no-nonsense sign that sees wildness as a waste of time. It’ll act as a warren, giving Jupiter long prison sentences for harmless, petty crimes.

You gain your own sense of optimism when you express your Jupiter in a positive way. You’ll have access to more opportunities. You fully understand your philosophy and are comfortable with it. You have fun in your own way and you’re able to enjoy yourself. Luck is on your side. When you express Jupiter negatively—by falling to the negative aspects of your Jupiter sign—you get carried away. You overextend. You take uncalculated risks and get yourself in a heap of trouble. You become dogmatic in your beliefs and tactless towards others. You become too much.

Jupiter goes retrograde about once per year, lasting about four months per retrograde period. Jupiter retrograde turns the planet’s qualities inward, so instead of trying to find expansion and growth through outer means, it’s better to search for expansion and growth within yourself. Instead of focusing on gathering wisdom from experiences and from other people, we recap on the wisdom that we’ve already cultivated. It’s a good time to lie back and rethink our philosophies and beliefs, seeing if they still feel true to you or if you’ve outgrown them. Fortunately, Jupiter retrograde doesn’t mean bad luck. It just means luck is a little harder to come by.

If you have retrograde Jupiter in your natal chart, you’re very reserved when it comes to conveying your personal beliefs. Maybe they’re different from what’s considered the norm, or you just feel it’s too personal a topic. You’ll have more of the qualities evident during Jupiter retrogrades, learning more from your own personal experiences than from what others tell you. This could really be a good thing, since it makes you less likely to become influenced by others. You may have a hard time having fun, or maybe you’ll find your own solitary sense of fun. Luck comes more from within than from outside.

Next Article: “Saturn: You’re GROUNDED”

1Depending on the house.

2Areas of the natal chart that show different areas of life.