On Thursday October 4th, the planet Jupiter will begin retrograde motion. This will continue until January 30th 2013. Typically, Jupiter goes retrograde every 13 months or so and remains that way for four months. Currently Jupiter (called Brihaspati or Guru in the Vedic system) is transiting the nakshatra called Rohini and will continue to do so during its apparent backwards motion through the Zodiac. Rohini is considered one of the most powerful of all the nakshatras and is the abode of Brahma, who is the presiding deity of this asterism. The particular star most associated with Rohini is Aldebaran, one of the brightest stars in the sky and part of the constellation of Taurus. Rohini is associated with both the Moon and Venus and is considered the most feminine of all the nakshatras and also the most materialistic. A mythological tale about Rohini says that she was created by Brahma, who then fell in love with her and pursued her with salacious intent. At this point in the story, Shiva had to intervene to prevent Brahma from committing “cosmic incest”. Brahma then had to be content to be the ruling deity of Rohini, so he can reside in the same house as his “daughter” though he is unable to “have” her. Indeed, Rohini is so enchanting that when the Moon was making its monthly journey through all the nakshatras it refused to leave this asterism, creating jealousy amongst Rohini’s “sisters”, the other nakshatras. The sisters complained to Brahma, who cursed the Moon, causing him to become ill. The Moon, of course, was the husband of all the nakshatras and the sisters felt remorse when they realized what they had done to their husband. They pleaded with Brahma to revoke the curse, but such a curse, once pronounced, couldn’t be taken back. Brahma was persuaded to soften the curse by making the Moon gradually lose its splendor and then regain it. Rohini symbolizes the attraction that compels us to immerse ourselves in worldly gratification and lose some of our Divine luster in the process. This nakshatra represents the acme of creative potential called “Rohana Shakti”-- the power to make things grow. It is also associated with forming symbiotic relationships with others, making it possible to expand one’s horizons and one’s consciousness.
Jupiter represents Spirit embracing Matter, a vibrant energy that nourishes, expands, and spiritually transforms an individual. Brihaspati is the preceptor of the devas who displays a sympathetic disposition towards humankind and tries to guide us in the ways of Dharma. His way of teaching is to guide us from the external to the internal, from the exoteric to the esoteric. Jupiter is considered an earthy planet that enables his beneficiaries to follow the Dharma while bestowing on them the conditions and affluence that enable them to live in contentment. Jupiter represents God’s Grace. Retrograde motion it is thought to internalize a planet’s influence. This creates an interesting energetic with Jupiter in the sign of Rohini. We find ourselves being pulled into the material world on one hand with a desire for expansion in this realm, while at the same time feeling the need to go inward and reconnect with our Dharma and philosophies, teachers, and rituals that have been meaningful to us in the past. Retrograde motion slows down Jupiter’s ability to keep making things bigger, so they don’t get out of hand. It allows some time for introspection, especially concerning our ethical principles, and a reassessment of our responsibilities as a social being. It is an excellent time to reconnect symbiotically with teachers, students, friends, and family.