Updated: Feb 18, 2020
Bringing It Down To Earth
The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it.
If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore;
If a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water;
If a forest is a sacred grove, not timber;
If other species are biological kin, not resources;
Or if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity –
Then we will treat each other with greater respect.
This is the challenge,
To look at the world from a different perspective.
When a planet changes signs, there is a shift in our focus. When faster moving planets, like Venus or Mars, shift signs the effects are less noticeable an not as far-reaching. Jupiter spends roughly one year in each sign, completing a full rotation around the sun every twelve years. A key signature of any given year is influenced by the placement of Jupiter for that year.
The last time Jupiter hung out in Capricorn was the year 2008. Thinking back to that year we can reflect on how the themes of that year reflected Jupiter's influence in Capricorn. We can glean the flavor of what this cycle’s passage of Jupiter through Capricorn may bring. If you know your natal chart, the house that Capricorn occupies provides clues to the areas of life that you will experience expansion, growth, and an applied effort.
On the world stage, 2008 was the year of widespread housing foreclosures, a US Recession and Global Financial Crisis. Obama was running for election. The sense of business as usual was disrupted, and the way things were ordered got a sobering wake up call. Our personal lives may or may not have mirrored what was happening within society. To the degree we were operating from unrealistic expectations, practices or goals, determined the degree of adjustments that needed to be made. To the degree we are currently running on faith that things will work out, have taken shortcuts or compromised our integrity to get where we are, we may experience a reality check. What we hoped to keep at bay may appear to be reconciled. While uncomfortable, it brings the opportunity to align with integrity and putting things in good order. Obama's candidacy an on the slogan, "Yes, we can," inspiring hope and a renewed sense of optimism about future possibilities if we work together. Jupiter in Capricorn will have a sobering effect, but most like a practical re-visioning of the future will emerge as part of the solution.
Jupiter is the planet of growth and expansion. It is a planet of optimism and abundance. Whichever sign it occupies, there is an increase, an expansion of the qualities that that sign expresses. Capricorn, an earth sign, exemplifies mastery, competence and demonstrating leadership with material reality.
With Jupiter in Capricorn it is time to get real and make it real.
Our attention is drawn to the point where the rubber hits the road. Jupiter is in its fall in Capricorn. Its natural expansive and exuberant nature becomes yoked to the Capricornian values for responsibility, discipline and doing the work that needs to be done.
Three analogies offered for how this may play out in our lives
1) At the end of a holiday season where we went all out, we wake up January 2 a bit hungover from the festivities, sobering quickly as we face the few added pounds around our mid-section, the increase in charges on the credit card, and the mounting projects awaiting us at work that didn’t seem so important in December. We face the music and get to work.
2) We have been moving on intention, good will and optimism but it has not been matched by practical application, discipline and the motivation to give ourselves fully to making it happen, and suddenly the motivation appears. We roll up our sleeves and get to work.
3) We have been on a fast track of growth. Perhaps our career has taken off, we have bought a larger home, or have done well with investments. Turning the corner into 2020 the growth has stalled and we now wonder how we can keep going all that we have already generated. We assess the situation and get to work.
Each scenario shares the same outcome: it is a year to dedicate concentrated time and energy to the mundane, practical matters that are right in front of us.
When we talk about reality, some will ask: which reality?
There are many dimensions to our existence. With Capricorn we come face to face with the laws of physical plane reality, of cause and effect, of temporality, of boundaries and time. If we respect and work with this reality, it will yield results that create a deeper appreciation for the earth, the earth of our bodies and the wonder of engaging our senses and being part of this slow-moving, dense, time-bound dimension that provides us the human experience.
As Jupiter traveled through Sagittarius this past year, we were dedicated to the pursuit of truth – learning, discovering, and speaking our truth. We may have followed an urge to travel, study, dedicate ourselves to spiritual/religious practice, or find platforms to share the wisdom we have. Our faith in what we hold as true and sacred was expanded. With this came polarity, as differing ways of seeing truth were promoted and defended.
The Archer is Sagittarius’ constellation. The Archer’s gaze is skyward, his bow pulled, his arrow aimed towards the heavens.
The Goat is Capricorn’s constellation. The Goat’s gaze is on the ground just in front of her. Her attention is absorbed in the terrain, her peripheral vision narrowed, her desire is simple: sure-footing for the next step she will take. Sagittarius is propelled by the fire of vision and the quest for grasping the big picture, he is trying to experience, absorb and understand all he can from here to eternity.
The Goat scales a mountain, focused on the journey and less on the outcome. She is not short on ambition, wanting to reach the top of the mountain, the pinnacle of the material world, to the highest point she can reach without leaving the ground. But in her actions she demonstrates a belief that if she just pays attention to where she places her foot next, the outcome will take care of itself. If she focuses too far ahead, she may misstep. The Goat’s attention is not on cosmic ideals, wishful thinking or contemplation of truths that can distract her from the maneuvering of the here and now.
With Jupiter in Capricorn, we grow our capacity for simplicity, pragmatism and for our interest in measurable results. As we scale the mountain of 2020, a natural resourcefulness emerges, a creative way to problem solve with a fascination for detail. We embrace the wisdom of the tortoise and quiet the hare in us who is looking for excitement and fun. Naivete and wishful thinking are dispelled as we meet immovable truths within situations that bring us down to earth, to the next step and the next step and the next step.
Jupiter is naturally expansive and optimistic. Capricorn’s energy is naturally contractive and pragmatic. Jupiter is in its fall in Capricorn. It must yield to to the Capricorn energetic. We may encounter fears of scarcity and limitation. When resources feel scarce, we gain clarity and appreciation for what really matters and create a more realistic vision for the future.
Jupiter in Capricorn reminds us that abundance is not found in how much we have, but within the spirit in which we receive and hold what we do have. In a culture that appreciates the Jupiterian energetic of more and more, its sojourn through Capricorn steers us away from the goal to expand and continue expanding and steers us towards an appreciation and care of the small things that give life meaning and value. More things, more money, more success does not equal more value.
Some of us may still experience 2020 as a year of expansion depending on the planetary dynamics of our natal charts, but we will all be engaged in the societal realization that we have reached the ceiling of expansionism, and that our cultural way of life has reached its limit. With no room to continue on as we have, there is a sobering look at how we can adjust and define a realistic vision and approach to shifting our way of living. We will most likely see more action taken to address mounting issues of climate change, energy and food shortages, access to clean air and water, and issues of overpopulation, deforestation, and the extinction of millions of species worldwide.
We will roll up our sleeves to reinforce, repair, restructure, and stabilize our earthly life. We may have taken leaps of faith in the last year as we followed our dreams or inner guidance. Jupiter in Capricorn is what happens in the wake of the leap. There is some catch up and adjustments. 2020 is not about making more leaps of faith but zeroing in on the terrain we find ourselves and giving attention to stabilizing our current position. While this may sound less than exciting for some of us, Jupiter in Capricorn provides the motivation to take care of the things we have been aware need tending but have put off simply because its not fun. In 2020, we become fascinated with the ordinary and give effort to mundane nitty gritty. The resulting feeling of satisfaction will be well worth the sacrifice of excitement.
The first days when Jupiter enters Capricorn, the media news will give us an indication of the themes and character of how Jupiter in Capricorn will manifest for the year. For instance, in the first days of Jupiter in Scorpio, which promised the unearthing of secrets regarding sex, money and power, the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke and the MeTo movement was born. The impeachment hearings and findings in the US House of Representatives is dominating the news this week, pointing to the Capricorn premise that we must inevitably be held accountable for what we have done or haven’t done.
Four of the five outer planets are in earth signs for 2020.
There is amplified focus given to the element of earth and hence the earth herself. It is time to nurture and care for the earth that houses us, the bodies that give us life, the soil that gives us food. There has been a cultural propensity to exploit the earth to serve our dreams and goals. This is the year to give back to the earth that has given so much.
Jupiter is moving swiftly towards Pluto and Saturn who are already in Capricorn, and the three will be moving together throughout 2020. Jupiter joining these planets of Transformation and Responsibility will amplify the energetics spoken of here, promising a year of change, accountability and grounding. We have felt the momentum for change mounting for some time, and the coming together of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter will bring it in a substantive way. More will be said about this in my post on the 2020 astrological dynamics later this month.
As Jupiter moves through Capricorn, let us embrace the care of the physical plane, the laws of that guide it, the beauty of limitation and restraint that is inherent in grounding ourselves in manifest reality, and open to what this offers us. May we find the extraordinary in the ordinary, in the small things that are too easily taken for granted. May we come into a relationship with the living world in a new and remarkable way.