Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Jupiter Retrograde


March 25, 2005 (with chart)


Hi Eric:

I am new to your site but just love browsing all the articles you have. I have been studying astrology with a small group of people who are just at this stage learning about our charts and ourselves. I wish to get my formal qualifications in astrology. During class last week we were doing progressions and just as we were leaving I noticed that in my natal chart Jupiter sits in my 10th house at 12 degrees and 41 arc minutes of Pisces, conjunct the midheaven (which is at 16 degrees and 16 arc minutes of Pisces) and conjunct Chiron retrograde 10 degrees and 44 minutes of Pisces, all in the 10th house.


I am a very curious person and love to learn but was told my learning would be difficult due to my Jupiter. My Jupiter went retrograde at this degree 12.41 of Pisces but according to the ephemeris it showed the retrograde as the following day, but at the same degree. What does this mean for me? No one can tell me much and it seems to be hard to find good information about retrograding planets. What does it mean for Jupiter to retrograde at that point? Is this treated as a transit, or would I be under the same influence as if it was retrograde natally? (Seeing as it went retrograde in the first 90 days of my life.)


Will this interfere with my ability to study and retain information? I really wish to study astrology and would love any information you can tell me regarding this.

Thanking you in advance,




2 July 1962

4.55 AM AEST Bendigo, Victoria, Australia


Dear Colleena,

Jupiter retrograde in your 9th house (not your 10th, though it's close enough to have some influence there) is suggesting that you not take the advice of astrologers too seriously. You display the perfectly charming Piscean trait of gullibility.


For instance, the astrologer who told you that you would have trouble retaining information. This is a matter of opinion, and maybe they saw it in another client or student at some point. However, I personally don't see any astrological basis for the claim, particularly phrased in such negative terms; i.e., an astrologer could say, "You will need to work a little extra hard, but you can do it."


You have strong Pisces in the 9th house, including Jupiter and Chiron, which is a mighty conjunction that very few people are blessed to have. Chiron and Jupiter retrograde suggest you already know what you're doing, and that you need to learn to tap into your feelings and your body and come back with the information you've already learned so many times during so many lifetimes. You need to learn a little basic choreography and develop the skill of counseling, which can be done quite effectively without astrology; so the astrology is a gift that it's wise to use sparingly.


Also, 'retaining information' is only part of what we do with astrology. Most of what we do is communicate with people; and much else is something that happens intuitively. Isabel Hickey was so bad at casting charts that sometimes she would get planets in the wrong sign, which is difficult. But I don't think anyone would say she was a bad astrologer. (My old friend Rob Norris once had a reading from Isabel. He called for an appointment, this was a while ago, and she said, "Well, I have a two year waiting list, but call me if it snows. People always miss their appointment when it snows." One day it snowed and that's how he got in.)


I am, however, mildly troubled that you would take that kind of statement at face value and not challenge it with an attempt to learn on your own, or to seek out multiple opinions, and see what happens -- and perhaps that's what the astrologer who made the comment was getting at. No matter what an astrologer says, it is an interpretation. To be an astrologer, you need to think critically and not take authority at its word. You can learn this skill. That is my interpretation.


The main thing that tells me you have the ability to learn this is that you have strong Virgo in your 3rd house -- you have Pluto there. That's more than enough to balance out any misplaced trust, faith in authority, or simple deception that might come from having strong Pisces. Pisces always needs to be balanced by Virgo. You need to think through your own questions and assess any situation you're presented with for yourself, rather than take someone's word for it. While we're remotely on the subject of progressions, it happens that in your progressed chart, both Mercury and Uranus have joined Pluto in Virgo, further strengthening that aspect of your chart, adding considerable power of innovation (Uranus) and a kind of tireless ability to think, work and develop your skills (Mercury).


Actually doing astrology is a process of reasoning: you could call it astrological thinking. There is a working out involved; a kind of calculus, in which you consider the questions, and the different factors that appear to be influencing it; you weigh and balance the arguments on both sides of the issue, or however many sides there are; and you become the judge of the situation. You need to go through those steps more than you need to memorize anything. The steps themselves require less memorization than learning a few basic moves. Look at the ruler of your 9th house and tell me if you have a good head on your shoulders.


In response to your inquiry about how to learn the work, I am not a great fan of teaching astrology in schools. There are some people who do very well studying that way (Jonathan has a formal astrological education, for example, and I am sure he benefits from it every day). And I understand the appeal of cademic certification; we live in a world that covets the piece of paper that says you can really do it. However, with astrology of all things that piece of paper is particularly worthless unless you can actually do the work.


I teach astrology the way I think it needs to be learned. I share the information here, in response to specific charts, inquiries and case studies. I leave my notes in the margin for everyone to see and evaluate, and we take the time, space and energy to post many charts for anyone to look at.


While you might think that the astrological system demands an orderly approach, I don't think that's true. The system itself is highly structured and ordered and sooner or later you're going to start making your own lists of what the planets and houses mean, without anyone telling you to do that.


I suggest you go about learning through diligent self-study, finding a good mentor or two (which will truly happen at the right time, and they can be writers from any era -- as long as you connect on the spirit level). And suggest working with as many people on their charts as you can muster up for the exercise. To be an astrologer, you need the technical basis, the philosophical basis, the connection with spirit and, most of all, the connection with people and what they go through on Earth. Spend as much time as you have listening to what they have to say about their lives. Their charts will become quite transparent if you do that.


When there is a decent astrologer around, even someone mildly willing to be a decent astrologer, people show up. Even if you are only vaguely helpful to those who seek your help, the good Lord will send you scads of people who need you, because they need you, and you need them to be a better practitioner -- though I trust that your help will be significant. The most important quality to cultivate is sincerity. If you can do this, the truth comes through your work.