What You Need to Kow

Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images

When you read “retrograde,” your mind probably goes to Mercury, the planet that undergoes a notorious reversal three to four times each year – and becomes a too-convenient scapegoat for all the chaos in our lives. (In astrology, Mercury is associated with communication, travel, transportation, and technology, so it does make sense that Mercury’s backward glide would wreak havoc on our daily routines, but there’s more to it than that. Anyway, that’s for another time!) But retrograde isn’t just relegated to Mercury. In fact all planets experience retrograde cycles. And Jupiter is up next. Read on to find out what to expect when the largest planet in our solar system starts cruising in reverse.

In astrology, Jupiter, that massive planet with that big ol ‘red spot that’s been swirling on its side for a couple of centuries, is associated with luck, expansion, and abundance. And in your birth chart – you know, that map of the sky from the exact time and place that you were born? – the placement of Jupiter can reveal hidden talents, unexpected gifts, or even incredible opportunities.

Jupiter is the first planet on the far side of the asteroid belt, which classifies it as an outer planet. Unlike the planets closer to the Sun, which have relatively fast orbits, the outer planets have longer journeys… and thus longer cycles. Accordingly, it takes Jupiter approximately 12 years to move through the entire zodiac, remaining in each sign for about one year.

Well, here’s the thing about retrogrades: They’re an optical illusion. Jupiter goes retrograde annually, appearing to spin backward as we observe it from Earth for approximately four months. Think about fun-house mirrors. The images you see reflected back are warped, wavy, not what you expect – an alternate reality that’s still real. Retrogrades are a little something like that: They challenge our perspective and make us look at life from a totally different vantage. And, in the case of abundant Jupiter, that shift in POV may just lead us back to some overlooked buried treasure.

Right now! Jupiter went retrograde on Thursday, July 28, at 4:37 pm ET. Since May 10, 2022, Jupiter has been drifting through Aries, the zodiac sign associated with motivation, intensity, raw passion, and fearless independence. Between Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” track drop and the Little Miss memes taking over social media, Jupiter’s jaunt through Aries has, you could say, definitely been a vibe.

On October 28, 2022, Jupiter will reenter Pisces. The energy of Jupiter in Pisces is mystical, creative, and nostalgic. Jupiter will finally conclude its retrograde on November 23, 2022, and, once direct, it will officially say au revoir to Pisces until the year 2033 on December 20, 2022, when it reenters Aries once and for all.

Unlike some other (* cough * Mercury * cough *) retrogrades, Jupiter Retrograde is actually quite lovely. Simply, Jupiter will be retracing its steps, enabling us to spend a little more time exploring any opportunities we may have missed. Specifically, this will be inviting us to revisit happenings that occurred from May 1, 2022, through the present. What lucky, unexpected, positive experiences did you have? Perhaps you received a job offer? Or fell in love? Or started to explore a new subject or hobby that is fulfilling on a soul level?

If nothing comes to mind, that’s totally fine too. When Jupiter goes retrograde, it has the potential to reopen any false starts: In other words, things that appeared hopeful but didn’t fully materialize may be resolved during Jupiter Retrograde. Ready for more good news? Jupiter will continue to retrace this path until February 14, 2022 (yup, Valentine’s Day), so there’s plenty of time to reap the rewards of this magical, mystical transit.

In addition to being the planet of luck, Jupiter is associated with philosophy and spirituality, so this Jupiter Retrograde is an excellent time to cultivate your introspective practices. What do you appreciate? What are you grateful for? How can you expand your horizons by building on your current infrastructure? Are your intentions and desires aligned with your actions and choices?

Fundamentally, think of Jupiter Retrograde as your cosmic fairy godmother. If you’ve been thrilled with the past few weeks, Jupiter Retrograde will be sure to amplify your blessings. Alternatively, if things have felt a bit off since May, Jupiter Retrograde will function as a cosmic do-over, inviting you to right the wrong and course correct as needed. It’s not every day we’re presented with the rare opportunity to retrace our steps – and, in a world riddled with relatively shitty retrogrades, this is certainly a breath of fresh air. So inhale, baby!

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