Back when I did a lot of electional astrology work, choosing good wedding dates for couples, everyone wanted the same thing: a Saturday wedding at sunset, preferably in June. It was the rare client indeed who was willing to deviate from this formula (though most were flexible about the month, at least). And I get it: There’s something very romantic about the hours when the Sun, spent from its day’s adventures, begins to float drowsily toward the western horizon like a happy, exhausted child returning home from a day at the beach.
It’s the time of day when the Sun occupies the part of the sky that astrologers characterize as the seventh house, the territory of marriages, legal partnerships, and weirdly enough, open enemies. It’s the house with considerable sympathy for the sign of Libra, in which planets mostly do their work by contrast and collaboration with The Other.
The New Moon this month is in Libra, close to Jupiter, which recently entered Libra for a one-year stay. Astrologers rejoiced when Jupiter left Virgo, figuring that since Jupiter is supposed to be a “lucky” planet and Libra is the sign of relationships, everything would soon be coming up rainbows and unicorns.
Call me cynical, though, or at least contrary. Because anytime someone starts talking about how wonderful a transit is going to be, it makes me itchy.
That said, I actually did get married one year when Jupiter was in Libra. That’s kind of the best-case scenario for this transit, the beginning of a happy marriage. In fact, Jupiter is considered the luckiest of the planets – “the Greater Benefic” – and I do indeed feel remarkably blessed in my marriage.
But Jupiter in Libra or no Jupiter in Libra, it hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is – because there are no perfect people. All humans have our moments of impatience, pettiness, temper, and worse, including the tendency to compare ourselves to others, and even other couples. We may wonder whether, as a couple, we’re popular, prosperous, or passionate enough. I know the Leo part of me is haunted by the prospect of becoming one of those lesser, “sidekick” couples that inhabit Shakespeare’s plays for the sole purpose of making the main couple seem more captivating. I mean, Claudio and Hero have their charms, but the big stars always want to play Benedick and Beatrice.
The irony is that there’s no way of knowing what’s going on inside Benedick and Beatrice’s marriage. Even Shakespeare left them before they made it to the altar. Just look (sigh – must we??) at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I’ll admit they have never been my cup of celebrity, but the rest of the world spent years rhapsodizing about their good looks, successful careers, humanitarian efforts, and ever-growing family. And then, practically the minute Jupiter entered Libra, Jolie filed for divorce.
Jupiter is not just about luck, after all. It’s about heeding the call of the wild, the impulse to throw ourselves off a cliff into the broad arms of a new adventure. If you’re just starting a relationship, particularly marriage, this can be a very good transit. But in an ongoing romance, the “luck” of Jupiter in Libra depends entirely upon whether your existing relationship feels roomy enough. Is it expanding your horizons, or is it narrow, limiting, and dull? If your relationship makes your life feel small and sad instead of joyously expansive, it doesn’t matter how good-looking your husband is, you’re gonna find a way to jump ship.
This Libra New Moon joins Jupiter in that drowsy, floating space before sunset, where we exchange vows to each other in the softening light. We want love, of course, but also to make a bold leap into something bigger and more loving, something extraordinary, and that’s not too much to ask. All it takes is a little bit of luck, a passion for adventure, and a companion to hold our hand while we jump.
© 2016 April Elliott Kent