The Jupiter-Pluto Trine and Grounding into Practice


Jupiter's arrival to Virgo just over six weeks ago has definitely done its job of shuffling the outer-planet playing field.

As I reported in my last article, Jupiter in Virgo plays an integral role in forming a now-active T-square with Saturn and Neptune, emphasizing a mutable condition associated with seasonal transitions and the attitudinal versatility they warrant.

But that's not all: From its Virgo position, Jupiter's also moving into a flowing trine with Pluto in Capricorn (first exact on Oct 11), creating a functional synergy between these two in the earth element. With two successive hits occurring in March and June of next year, this Jupiter-Pluto trine is an ongoing aspect due to influence us through the first half of '16.

What I find most striking about the emerging influence of this Jupiter-Pluto trine is how it comes right on the heels of Jupiter's prior trine to Uranus (in effect from Sep '14 through this past July). This fact takes on heightened relevance when considered within the broader context of the Uranus-Pluto square, the 2010s' revolutionarily rabble-rousing astro-agent par excellence. With seven exact hits between June 2012 and March 2015, Uranus-and-Pluto's generation-rattling square stirred so much radical unrest and destabilization, we're very much still in the midst of recovering our senses and devising next-steps. (For a fuller understanding of the Uranus-Pluto square, start with this article, then click through the other links it contains for lots more in-depth info.)

Jupiter's role over the course of these couple years, then, has involved boosting the frequency, by trine, of first one and then the other of this long-squaring pair. Back when Jupiter was still in Leo, it fanned Uranus-in-Aries's fiery impulse-driven, status-quo-disrupting, independence-declaring efforts… stoking the flames of self-expression, spurring enough courage in us so we might pioneer new ways to be heard and seen in our full authenticity, fallout be damned. With Jupiter in Virgo and consequently in cahoots with Pluto now, this outwardly-expressed bombast is giving way to a less theatrical, more composed vibe… the focus shifting from immediate action to strategic planning, as our Jupiter-enhanced capacity for logical analysis and attention-to-detail now supports us in refining and redoubling our unceasing pursuit of longer-term life-goals.

Just as the Jupiter-Uranus trine helped to unstick us from self-limiting circumstances which required some bold inertia-busting act to loosen their grip, the current Jupiter-Pluto trine inspires our critical-thinking and dexterous-handling abilities to ground our now-unstuck selves with a renewed dose of far-reaching realism.

In the cyclic progression of our zodiac's twelve tribes, a fire sign is always followed by an earth sign. Fire gets us off our asses, sparks us into motion, makes things happen. But once an action is taken, and the situation has consequently changed, fire cannot guarantee these changes last… nor that this now-past action will prove at all practically useful or instrumental to our chosen aims beyond its fleeting moment. If, that is, the fire hasn't also, at the same time, damaged or destroyed something we need for our material survival or security. Fire is a necessary part of the creative process. Yet, fire can burn out. Or fire can burn out of control, scorching entire fields to ash in one fail swoop.

As fire's handy successor, earth serves as the proverbial hearth to contain the wild flames and conserve the heat, so it may continue to provide self-securing sustenance and modulated energy over time, enabling us to utilize it for projects and purposes which require extended or ongoing fueling. Earth asks us to demonstrate viable, replicable results in a concrete fashion. By earth logic, it's not real if it cannot be physically experienced by the senses. Follow its logic, and earth allows us to construct, to maintain, and to persevere. Ignore it, and our efforts dissolve, dissipate, or crumble before our eyes, nothing left standing to testify to their efficacy.

The present earth trine between Jupiter and Pluto increases the strength-of-character which we can invest in the process of updating our schematics, revamping our methods, and/or recommitting to our farthest-reaching ambitions… a re-strategizing necessary in light of how the landscape has profoundly changed during this past year-plus (even more radically so since the beginning of this decade), and how we have simultaneously evolved, whether by shifting overall direction or growing even more devoted to staying our course.

Rebuilding after a breaking-apart, re-centering into clearer purpose following a fundamental reexamination of values, starting from square-one or restoring the empire to its former magnificence… none of these are easy tasks, psychologically speaking, as they require us to gaze unflinchingly at what we previously built, where our efforts were inadequate or short-sighted or not meant to last. We've had to examine where our goals and ambitions originally came from, if perhaps they never aligned as cleanly with our true heart's-desires as we'd convinced ourselves, and/or whether we must demystify any unconscious drives to prove our worthiness through worldly achievement, so we may dedicate all our hard work toward something that actually brings personal satisfaction, not merely gold-stars or VIP-access.

Jupiter supports Pluto-in-Capricorn's deeper, farther-reaching structural overhaul from Virgo by bolstering our confidence in our grasp of the facts, the finer-points, the details, and the data at our disposal… to aid us in the drawing-up of specific plans which would both address any recently-discovered blindspots or blunders and lead us to actualizing our most current aspirations, one modest step at a time. Virgo and Capricorn are arguably the two hardest-working, most conscientious and results-oriented signs of the zodiac, unwilling to settle for messiness or mediocrity. A planetary duo working in tandem across these two signs possess both the ultra-close-up perspective (Virgo) and the bird's-eye view of longer-range trends (Capricorn). Together by earth trine, Jupiter and Pluto consolidate the personal power required to manifest the tangible products of a prolonged purpose, so we may draw upon them for some time to come.

Of course, Virgo and Capricorn are also considered to be fairly conservative signs (not politically necessarily, though sometimes the case)… and, as such, there lurks the possibility that we'll use this Jupiter-Pluto trine to re-inscribe the rule of traditional authorities, attitudes, or practices. I've often conceived of the Uranus-Pluto square as pitting an impetuous, rebellious, pioneering impulse (Uranus in Aries) against a power-structure seeking to neutralize this direct threat to its dominance (Pluto in Capricorn). According to this narrative, the rebellions kicked up or magnified while Jupiter was trine to Uranus may likely face a retaliatory countercheck now that Jupiter's trine to Pluto.

Whether they superficially adopt the appearance and rhetoric of their insurgent foes or simply double down on defending status-quo establishments (under rubrics such as 'being responsible', 'using common sense', and 'protecting tradition'), don't be surprised to see those in power reasserting their dominance, if not seek to further expand their grab. And just so we're clear, this description is not just applicable to plutocratic politicos or corporate overlords who hold this 'those in power' role on the collective stage: This same dynamic can also play out wholly within our own individual lives, where stubborn habits or entrenched psychological patterning we thought we'd conquered may reemerge with reinvigorated force, testing whether our recent moves to break free of them will indeed prevail.

The unconscious complexes which drive our less-mindful behaviors wield just as much power over us as any cruel tyrant or evil boss. If we don't persistently work to deconstruct and reconstruct them on an ongoing basis, they'll eagerly show back up again whenever given an opening.

This last note points to perhaps the most hopeful potential carried by this earthy Jupiter-Pluto trine. Just as we're vulnerable to outdated, limiting habits creeping back in under this influence if we're not careful, we can likewise deploy its assistance in thoughtfully creating new habits, to steadily funnel our productive energies toward those chosen aims which cannot be attained without ongoing attention. As long as we are both intentional and realistic in our goal-setting, this aspect will help us nurture the diligence, deftness, and strategic focus to engineer practical successes… incrementally, rather than in one dramatic swoop, but with the capacity to endure.