This piece is an excerpt from my September 29, 2017 published long read on Jupiter in Libra.
While the 2nd New Moon after the Winter Solstice marks the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the solar calendar changes over in early February. This year it changed on February 4, 2018 in the US.
The 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac is roughly congruent with the 12 year cycle of the planet Jupiter. Every 12 years the same Chinese zodiac sign is present in the branch of the annual pillar (the element and animal combination used to define each successive year, ie. Wu Xu is yang earth dog for 2018). And every 12 years Jupiter returns to the same zodiac sign in the western zodiac.
Because of this approximate congruence, we can find similar interpretations of the Chinese zodiac sign (animal) in any given year branch and the western zodiac sign where Jupiter is in the sidereal zodiac at the same time.
For February 2018 through February 2018, this means that the Dog (Xu) can be interpreted similarly to Jupiter in sidereal Libra.
The root of the word justice is ‘jus’ which means law. The word law comes from ‘lag’ which means for something to be laid down or fixed. From this we get phrases like “lay down the law” which is actually closest to the meaning of root of the term justice. Justice comes from ‘justus‘ which means the administration of the law. From this etymology can be understood some of the cultural connotations of justice.
First, the idea of justice implies that there is law, rules that we collectively agree to follow regarding our actions and behaviors, with clear guidelines for what should happen to a person who fails to follow those rules. Justice, then, is what must happen in order to make sure that individuals
abide by the law.
There are more nuanced interpretations of justice as well. Most frequently we think of justice as something being made right or righteous, someone getting what they deserve (karma), or fairness. These definitions are a bit more complicated in that definitions of righteousness and fairness are difficult to codify, so they tend to be unspoken and implicit. The idea that someone gets what they deserve is less clear and consistent.
This is why law is necessary. Law articulates in particular terms what the the rules are and what should happen to someone who acts contrary to the law. The issues that we face regarding justice in America is threefold:
- We conflate law with morality;
- We believe that no matter what people will get what’s coming to them;
- The administration of the law is mostly based upon precedent.
In America, we wrongly assume that laws are inherently moral. As long as biased humans are defining the laws, they will be flawed and reflect
the bias of those who determine (legislate) and administer (adjudicate) the law. Jupiter in Libra reminds us that no one is completely above bias.
We idealize justice as blind and impartial. You see the way we personify justice? As Justitia, a woman wearing a blindfold while holding scales and a sword. Justice is hardly blind.
In some cases, we seek to totally circumvent the necessity of man made law by believing that justice is a universal law that is enacted with or without direct action by humans. This is partially true in that there are consequences to certain actions that don’t require humans. And those consequences often aren’t of a moral nature. But more often than not, those we define as wrongdoers don’t always get their comeuppance without human intervention. This is another important lesson of Jupiter in Libra.
That same bias that determines what is wrong or criminal (against the law) determines who is criminal and who is wrong. In America, law has historically been used to abdicate the white ruling class from the legal consequences of immoral actions like slavery, lynching, extrajudicial killings or state sanctioned murder, or leaving an entire city of people without safe drinking water.
Justice does not equate to morality: it stratifies classes of people into those with power and those without power or agency, those who make and enforce the laws and those who are disproportionately targeted by laws.
Finally, because the administration of the law is based upon precedent, it’s difficult to administer laws in ways that may be more fair despite the precedent set by earlier cases. This is why new laws are made—to override precedent with new rules. But if the new laws are made in a way that gives
undue influence to personal bias, we are back at square one.
Jupiter in Libra demands that we honestly assess our cultural notions of justice. Now, Jupiter transits the same sign every 12 years or so, but this time that Jupiter is in Libra there will be other astrologicalconfigurations occurring simultaneously that directly challenge and illuminate problems that need solutions.
In particular, I’m looking forward to the summer of 2018 when Mars has an extended transit through Capricorn while the eclipses are in Cancer and Capricorn. I especially have my eye on the July 29, 2018 eclipse. I will be talking more about that eclipse as we get closer. Capricorn square Libra requires that we analyze the practical implications of our idealism around justice. Justice for some is not justice at all.
In the meantime, you can get a head start on this by assessing your personal relationship with justice. Are there relationships or circumstances in your life that linger unresolved because you have not made things right?
This piece is an excerpt from my September 29, 2017 published long read on Jupiter in Libra. You can purchase the entire 4,000 words here.