Jupiter in Virgo is a paradoxical combination; the Lord of Plenty in microscopic Virgo is an uneasy fit. Jupiter is in his detriment in Virgo, his expansiveness and wide-angle perspective feels hemmed in by the million details dictated by Virgo. Jove is not one for crossing the Ts and dotting the Is. In the next six months, the oddity of this combination ratchets up a notch as Jupiter conjoins the North Node. Imagine: glorious Jupiter enters Virgo and suddenly becomes a rather more humble creature, such a hamster. The North Node increases and is said to be of the nature of the benefic planets, Jupiter and Venus. What happens when you apply the North Node to a hamster? You get an entire hamster farm. Jupiter is not exactly restored to his glory by the conjunction, the North Node just brings a sea of small beasts* swarming around your ankles. Not quite a herd of the finest Angus cattle, but much better than nothing.

Jupiter in Virgo: Modest Profits

In horaries these past few weeks, since Jupiter and the North Node moved into orb, this combination has signified small amounts that aggregate into a more meaningful figure. For example: “Will I win big on this bet?” The querent’s money was Jupiter in Virgo conjunct the North Node – in the eighth house. This was a betting pool, so here we have a great image of the querent’s individual, modest sum of money (Jupiter in Virgo) multiplied (North Node)…and going to someone else. Jupiter in Virgo by itself could be titled “modest profits.” With the North Node, modest profits multiply.

Jupiter with the North Node in the Financial Markets

The financial markets, always attuned to Jupiter, have responded accordingly. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates a smidgen this month; perfect Jupiter in Virgo/North Node symbolism. I view Virgo as a sign particularly associated with money-lending and banking, two activities beloved by Mercury. And indeed, smaller (there is that word again) regional banks have done well in the stock market recently in anticipation of the rate hikes.

The last time that Jupiter in Virgo conjoined the North Node was November 4, 1979. In October 1979, the U.S. Federal Reserve changed its monetary policy to target the quantity of money rather than its price, which had been the Fed’s policy until then. Due to the policy change, the average federal funds rate fluctuated wildly as the Fed changed rates to try to tamp down inflation. This period lasted until 1982, when the Fed reverted back to its original policy. While we do not expect such a fundamental change in Fed policy in 2016, the ongoing Jupiter-North Node conjunction signals the end of one fiscal era and the beginning of another.

Triple Conjunction of Jupiter and North Node

The unusual thing about this year is that Jupiter will conjoin the North Node three times; January 23rd and 28th, and June 20th, 2016. Jupiter and the North Node are in orb now and will continue so until the end of July. The last time that Jupiter conjoined the North Node thrice in any sign was in 1842 (in Capricorn). One gets the sense that this is a highly unusual and momentous year. Contracts made at this time have far-reaching power. 1842 saw the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, which brought an end to the First Opium War and exacted immense territorial and monetary costs from China. The major trade agreement being negotiated in 2015 and 2016 is TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which promises to transform the world economy in a vast number of contractually-stipulated areas. This is not to mention the climate change deal being hashed out in Paris as we speak. Raising Small Beasts, indeed. The three-fold contact of Jupiter and the North Node suggests that this six-month period represents a sea change in the material world.

Jupiter in Virgo rules “schoolmasters, editors, printers, accountants, lawyers, clerks, bookkeepers, &c….” per W.J. Simmonite, in The Prognostic Astronomer (Leeds, 1851), p. 13. On a personal level, Jupiter and Virgo depict a combination of humility and scholarship or trade. If Jupiter signifies the nobility in a traditional society, one can imagine that Jupiter in detriment (and especially in the clerical sign of Virgo) represents gentry that a few generations later must go to work to turn a penny. With the North Node, such a person might do rather well, though he or she must still earn bread by the sweat of the brow unlike the illustrious ancestors who represent a non-debilitated version of Jupiter. Again, these types of jobs are the occupational equivalent of raising small beasts for a living. It is not especially glamorous work, but if you string together enough hamsters, you can pay the bills.

The 2016 square of Saturn to the Jupiter-North Node conjunction will be interesting, as the hamster farm – whatever form it takes – may experience some difficulties and slowdowns. Nonetheless, the show must go on despite limitations represented by Saturn. The deal may not be perfect, but it is the only deal available right now.

*The image of raising small beasts comes from a translation of the I Ching that I particularly enjoy. “Raising Small Beasts” is an alternative name of Hexagram 9, also known as The Taming Power of the Small (Wilhelm), or Small Accumulating (Karcher/Ritsema).