Polliwogs (baby frogs) in the pond near my home. Frogs and toads have permeable skin, making them especially susceptible to environmental toxins. When we protect our wetlands and surrounding terrain and minimize our use of toxic chemicals, we directly benefit polliwogs (and each other!). Photo by Amanda Painter.

Walking by the small pond near my home this week, I made a very happy discovery: POLLIWOGS! The little spring peepers’ lusty, earsplitting songs earlier this spring did their job, and now baby frogs looking like little black orbs with wiggly tails congregate in the shallows. I LOVE FROGS! But I also made another, more discouraging, discovery: bits of fishing line with a hook attached in the grass near the pond’s edge.

Now, the fishing line and hooks do not present an immediate threat to the polliwogs. But it’s the third time I’ve found such items in this spot this season, and it’s a concerning trend. People walk their dogs on the pathway by the pond, and I’d hate for one of those pups to get a barbed hook in its paw. Plus, I find plastic litter generally upsetting everywhere I see it, especially near or in bodies of water. I do my best to pick it up and dispose of it when I can.

A couple of weeks ago I was walking by the pond and saw a guy fishing there. I asked if there was actually anything worth catching; it’s a small, cloudy, silty, mucky little pond, so I had assumed not. He enthusiastically replied, “Oh yeah there is! I work for the development company building the apartment building across the way, and my boss stocked this pond with bass.”

Interesting news, that. I’m not sure if stocking a water body with fish is legal (even if the fish are normally found in local lakes). Maybe it is, if the pond is on private land? I’ve been debating whether it’s worth investigating the answer. What would next steps be? Would the owners of the development I live in be slapped with a fine? Could anything be done about the fish in the pond? Are the bass going to eat all my beloved frogs, or are there enough frogs to go around and enough places for them to hide among the cattails?

All of this got me thinking further about Jupiter’s recent entrance into the sign Taurus (it arrived there on May 16, and stays until May 25, 2024).

Taureans are a sign knowing for enjoying the pleasures of the senses and “the finer things in life,” especially if they can possess and appreciate those things at a leisurely pace. Jupiter in Taurus could easily be the bull munching on nothing but the lushest field of the finest grass without a care in the world or a single second thought about what anybody else is eating, content that its physical needs are being met and optimistic that they always will be.

But there’s another side to Jupiter in Taurus — one that relates to astrology’s deeper messages about how we can move through life with purpose, and the soul-level lessons that reveal our interconnectedness, our dharma, our innate belonging. In The Astrologer’s Handbook, Frances Sakoian and Louis Acker write this about the more evolved side of Jupiter in Taurus:

“…he is aware that all resources are loaned to us by the Eternal principle of Life for our use, for the service of our fellow man, and for the general improvement of the social and physical environment. He realizes that he is only a steward of the world’s goods and that he must use and share them wisely for the sustenance and development of all life, especially anyone with whom he has dealings.”

Sakoian and Acker go on to note that money and material resources are a form of energy, and must keep flowing between people: “…the resources that he gives to others for their creative self-expression flow back to him manyfold because he has extended to others the opportunity to express their talents.”

Expressing the energy of Jupiter in Taurus in these ways is a **choice**. Jupiter is called the “greater benefic” in astrology and is associated with optimism and so-called luck.

But my understanding is that Jupiter’s promise of “luck” rarely appears out of the blue without any effort. It’s usually a side-bonus of the work that Saturn demands of us and/or a result of “what goes around, comes around” — whether we’re aware of the good we originally sent out or not. (If you’re into the concept of past lifetimes: Jupiter’s blessings in this life may be related to generosity and soul-evolution in a previous life.)

Jupiter is also known to expand whatever qualities are already present in a situation or facet of life that it’s coming into contact with. This can be unpleasant if Jupiter magnifies something that is already excessive to a destructive degree. Yet magnifying glasses help us to recognize and discern details that might otherwise escape notice, and then address them appropriately. That, too, can be a blessing even if disguised initially.

Taurus is a personal sign for me: my Sun and Mercury are located there, and it represents a fairly public zone in my birth chart. The last few years, Uranus has been working things over in big ways. Some have felt positive: for example, Uranus entering Taurus heralded my trip to Orkney, Scotland, to study with Kristin Linklater, which in turn was an early phase of some major professional self-reinvention. Perhaps you’re also being spurred to reconceive and reinvent something that has become too stale and routine, igniting creative new approaches to a particular facet of life.

However, Uranus in Taurus has also been sending out lightning strikes into what had seemed stable, secure, “mine” to enjoy. Most notably: new development a couple years ago at a pristine, secluded pond where I used to skinny-dip. Now the owners prohibit me and everyone else from even sitting on the perfect rock. Also the sale of my apartment of 16 years to new owners who completely ripped out the entire yard and garden beds that I had tended so they could expand their parking, and who then evicted me.

With the sale of my apartment, I can at least recognize that the space was no longer fully supporting my creative, spiritual, and professional needs…but the destruction of the green space still breaks my heart and strikes me as short-sighted environmentally and spiritually. With the development at the secluded pond, I still cannot quite see a beneficial nudge there.

In both cases, I have been rudely awakened to the fact that having a “sense of ownership” over a place, a natural environment, or a source of resources is not the same as actually owning it in our capitalist, individualist, control-hungry world. Taurus tends to be possessive, even when that mindset makes little sense or is not supported by the facts of a situation, and reality checks can sting.

And yet…

I come back to Sakoian and Acker’s description of a “spiritually evolved” Jupiter in Taurus quoted above. Despite how much Uranus may be shocking us personally and collectively regarding resources in recent years (Covid-related supply chain issues, Bitcoin’s plummet, the hastening of climate change), I still think there’s not only room, but a dire necessity for us all to think more in terms of stewardship — especially of natural resources, public spaces, and the environment in general, but also each other’s creative gifts.

What are some ways you can lean into that mindset, and let it guide your actions? How do we become stewards of the world’s goods, resources, natural spaces, and each other’s talents without taking singular possession of them to the exclusion of others’ enjoyment?

Jupiter is moving into a conjunction with the lunar North Node, which signifies dharma (“acting as if to hold the world together”) and a point of soul evolution. That conjunction is exact on June 1, at 4 degrees Taurus. The symbol for that degree of the zodiac is, “The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” Its keynote is, “Riches that come from linking the celestial and earthly nature.”

When we link our spiritual lives to our material actions, that’s when we all benefit, collectively.

It seems that the most valuable riches we could reap right now are not literal gold or the currency associated with it; it’s the interconnection and mutual benefit that come with learning stewardship over pure possession. Even in small ways, like picking up litter near a pond. There is enough for all of us, and there is space for all of us — including the polliwogs — as long as we continue to value each other, support each other’s gifts, and take care of our shared resources.

With love,


Comments are closed