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I Think I Can: Jupiter in Virgo & Self-Efficacy

“I think I can, I think I can,” said The Little Engine That Could. This sweet sentiment about the power of believing in yourself gets a storybook train up a hill. A happy ending in a children’s book is one thing, but how does it measure up in real life? Can believing we will be successful actually assist in creating that success?

Self-efficacy is an idea researched and championed by psychologist Albert Bandura, and is defined as the extent to which a person believes in their own competence. A simplified version of this might be the saying “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Jupiter and Self-Efficacy Beliefs
In astrology, Jupiter is the cosmic YES. Jupiter deals in the currencies of hope, faith, optimism, enthusiasm, potential, expansion, and confidence. When we take a risk in hopes that it will lead to good things that we can only visualize, we call on Jupiter. Jupiter is the planet of luck, but it’s not always passive. Lucky people simply say yes to the Universe’s nudges more often. They open the door when opportunity knocks.

Jupiter’s location in our own chart can reveal some natural talents and even the ways in which we underestimate what we’re really capable of; it reveals how and where we need to say yes to ourselves and the Universe more often. Yes doesn’t always sound like “yes!” Sometimes it sounds like “maybe I can do this” or “what if?”

The astrological symbolism of the Jupiter principle is reflected in the power of positive self-efficacy beliefs. It turns out, when we think we can succeed, we may actually increase our chances of achieving that success.

How self-efficacy beliefs affect our success
One of the deciding factors in deciding to undertake a task or set a goal is whether or not we think we will succeed. We visualize scenarios in our minds in an effort to try and determine how likely our success is. If we have no hope of success, we won’t commit to something. These visualizations don’t determine whether we will be successful, but they illustrate whether we think we’ll be successful.

Yet, this is a critical step. Our self-efficacy beliefs matter so much because the visualizations we create can stem from our belief in our competence and in turn, our actions or inactions stem from these visualizations. People with high self-efficacy beliefs are more likely to envision successful scenarios whereas people with low self-efficacy beliefs tend to focus on visualizations which emphasize what may go wrong. “What’s the worst that could happen?” we may ask ourselves, and how we answer this question is a measure of self-efficacy.

People with high self-efficacy beliefs also tend to be more willing to undertake a challenging goal and persist in their efforts to overcome obstacles when striving for their goal because they have a strong belief in their own competence. They are more likely to bounce back more quickly from setbacks and self-doubts that setbacks may generate. People with low self-efficacy beliefs are less likely to undertake difficult tasks and are more likely to rate difficult tasks with higher levels of impossibility. They also don’t recover from setbacks as easily and lose faith in their capabilities more quickly, giving up before the task is accomplished or more readily accepting a moderate success (a consolation prize) in place of what they truly want.

Belief = Success?
Most of us realize that our own attitudes about ourselves have a strong effect on how we experience life. It’s important to realize that one’s belief about oneself doesn’t determine skill or guarantee success or failure objectively. A high level of self-confidence doesn’t create skill in the absence of training, experience, or some degree of natural talent, but our belief in ourselves and our own abilities can serve as a springboard for our motivations, which can lead to actions, which can lead to accomplishments. Self-efficacy beliefs affect thought patterns that may be self-aiding or self-hindering.

It is widely believed that misjudgment produces dysfunction. Certainly, gross miscalculation can create problems. However, optimistic self-appraisals of capability that are not unduly disparate from what is possible can be advantageous, whereas veridical judgments can be self limiting. When people err in their self-appraisals, they tend to overestimate their capabilities.

This is a benefit rather than a cognitive failing to be eradicated. If self-efficacy beliefs always reflected only what people could do routinely, they would rarely fail but they would not mount the extra effort needed to surpass their ordinary performances. –  Human Agency in Social Cognitive Theory Bandura, Albert

If Indiana Jones didn’t think he could make it across the chasm in a leap of faith and take that risk, the holy grail might never have been found!

Jupiter in Virgo
Jupiter is traveling through the sign of Virgo from August 11, 2015 until September 9th, 2016. Grandiose Jupiter traveling through the humble sign of Virgo may seem like an ill fit, but in fact, this is an opportunity to grow in ways that are measurable, an invitation to increase our competence through efficient and consistent progress. Virgo has a great deal of respect for process and hard work. Jupiter in Virgo is where the rubber meets the road, where confidence and faith gain traction to actually create real results.

We can think of Jupiter as our cosmic life coach, encouraging us to reach for the stars, to try what we haven’t before, and brave that risk to make a potential, a dream, come true. In Virgo, Jupiter isn’t just a cheerleader; it has real homework for you. Where Virgo lies in your chart represents the area(s) of life where small, persistent steps will make all the difference over the next year. As astrologer Molly Hall says, “Jupiter in Virgo is a path of being happy when productive.  Some trust comes with this transit, that if there’s a regular investment in your work, the lucky breaks will come.

genius-is-1-inspiration-and

Enough is Not Quite Enough
With all the good things that a high level of self-efficacy seems to bring, it sounds like we would all be best served by embracing a delusional self-confidence. True, the location of this ‘gas giant’ can also reveal where we might just be full of hot air, so to speak. There are obviously problems that arise on the opposite end of the spectrum when we hugely overestimate our abilities, such as constantly promising what we can’t deliver and perpetually failing in that which we were sure we would succeed.

Our self-assessment is subjective, and a higher level of self-efficacy belief can serve to motivate and inspire us, making us more willing to stretch ourselves, try new things, and reach for our potential–all experiences that are at the heart of what Jupiter represents. Low self-efficacy beliefs actually discourage growth because we are reluctant to risk; we believe we will fail before we’ve even begun. Research seems to show that a level of self-efficacy which is just above our actual ability is optimal, because it pushes us to strive for the possible but without a delusion that we are superhuman. If you believe you can fly, strive for it! But don’t leap blindly off a building and literally expect wings to grow from your back. That’s a metaphor, folks. Jupiter in Virgo is not about inflated self-confidence but about the real ways we can turn our belief in ourselves into real action.

Apply it!
How high is your self-efficacy? How can you increase it? Here’s an interesting (non-scientific) quiz you can take to get the conversation with yourself started.

Where is Jupiter lighting up your chart? Share in the comments!

Don’t know where Jupiter is pushing you to fly? Create your free chart at astro.com


References:

There’s a lot more nuance to this idea of self-efficacy, including more precise definitions, what kinds of things our self-efficacy rating may be based on, and the difference between self-efficacy and just general self-confidence. Check out these sources to find out more:

What is Self-Efficacy? by Kendra Cherry

Self-Efficacy by Albert Bandura

Human Agency in Social Cognitive Theory by Albert Bandura

Generalized Self-Efficacy (GSE) is differentiated from Bandura’s definition of Self-Efficacy. The former centers on the idea of general confidence in one’s abilities in a variety of situations, whereas Bandura’s definition is said to be situationally specific. See Measuring General Self-Efficacy.

Many beliefs are tied to our self-efficacy rating, such as our self-esteem, or how much control we believe we have over the events in our lives (locus of control). 

“I think I can” canvas art is created by and available from Red Bicycle Designs.

The resilience of our belief in our self-efficacy is what’s especially important. One can always get a shot of confidence in the arm, but those who tend toward high levels of belief in themselves over the long term tend to be able to persist where others give up.

It’s also important to realize that one’s self-efficacy beliefs can be influenced in a number of ways, not just by one’s own personal belief, but also by the positive reinforcement and encouragement we get from others. This is a reason why support groups can actually work.

Astrologer’s Diary: Shaping the Self in the First House

Changes
are afoot.

 

2013-07-20 21.40.31

Embody the Self Amy Herring

When your job is to assist people in identifying
their soul potential and courageously moving toward it, you've got to be walking that talk. My lack of newsletters, facebook posts, and other offerings may have seemed like I've been absent, but in truth, I've been in my 'laboratory' where I hope to eventually be able to offer you many new creations. My progressed moon has been in the first house for two years now, urging me toward a new identity, but unlike I (unconsciously) expected, the outline has not simply waiting for me to step into it. I've had to craft it from the raw materials of self, and in Aquarius, there's been no template appropriate to follow.

 

2013-07-30 17.08.26

Nonself, Amy Herring

I expected that the 12th house period was the letting go and the 1st house
would be all about the new, and it is, but I underestimated the impact of the unfamiliar. In the 12th house, I sloughed an old skin. I had no
perspective on why it was happening, and had I not had the knowledge of
the purpose of the 12th house period, I would surely have gone mad–perhaps I did a little bit anyway. But
that was just the letting go part. In the first house, I find myself  having to clear away the
debris that dropped to the floor. One needs room to work, a clean slate, and in my case, it wasn't automatic. Instead of just one big sweep, it's been tempting to sift
through it and try to figure out what parts I can save, but that's all
been an attempt to cling to an old orientation and way of life, especially when the new one isn't just sitting there like a vessel waiting to be filled.

 

When last I posted about the 1st house, I was just entering it, and I shared some of my early observations. Having been moving through it for a while now, here's a few to add to the list:

It has been exceptionally challenging for me to produce anything concrete. Blog,
reading, video, class, lecture, book – these all feel like end
products, but I am still designing blueprints. I draw on the old model
whenever I can, whenever I must, but my libido is invested in this
self-making. Finishing anything takes an act of great will, one that I don't always muster. As a double Virgo with Capricorn rising, it's been challenging to my sense of self and self-esteem to not have anything "useful" to point to, to not have a stack of contributions that I've been offering. It has been very difficult to just embody the space, trust the process, and patiently reinforce to myself that it's enough.

The first house experience is about you taking up space, you crafting your own life, so I have to light my own flame. Continually. Often. Over and over. It often goes out. Momentum has been extraordinarily difficult to maintain, especially when the direction is unclear. It is not motivation, but meaning in order to drive motivation, that I've been needing to generate.

I've made what I feel like have been a number of false starts. I haven't signed up for the military or invested my life savings in any radical schemes, but I have been so hungry for direction that any inspiration, no matter how mild, sends me running off to catch it before it dissipates. It then becomes rapidly apparent that this is not the "start your new life kit" I'd been hoping for and I turn around and head back for the crossroads.

 

2013-08-22 20.44.50

Sunrise Mandala, Amy Herring

I signed up for a summer series of six classes offered by the Jung Society of Seattle on Creating Your Own Red Book (I have discussed the astrology of Carl Jung and his Red Book in previous posts). Carl Jung underwent a massive internal transformation which he documented in his black books and later compiled into the Red Book. During this series, we were introduced to methods and theories of Carl Jung that we could utilize to create our own 'red book', such as active imagination, mandala creation, dream analysis, and synchronicity. This series was profoundly helpful in giving me a 'container' in which to conduct this self-making. The drawings in this blog have all come from my own red book (although mine's blue).

 

 

The-Universe-Dusty-Path

 

A brief but rapid series of synchronicities prompted me to finally decide that the only thing missing was to apply a little perseverance to the path that I clearly wanted to walk down but kept second-guessing. I am on the Universe's mailing list (you can be too) and one day it said to me:


Usually, the best way to find the yellow brick road of your life, Amy, is
to start out on the dusty, dirt one.

And then let yourself become so
preoccupied in making the best of it, having fun, and challenging yourself that
you actually stop paying attention to the path.

Until, one day, not so
long from now, with a new best friend, wearing cool clothes, feeling awesome, a
teeny tiny bit taller, fresh from a WOW vacation, looking for the path you just
left, you'll notice that it's 24 carats… baby.

And you'll wonder for a
long, long time, sipping on some exotic fruit drink, when the transformation
actually took place…

Tripping, The Universe

 

Although I think it is always true, my awareness is constantly drawn up in the fact that I am perpetually unfinished. However, I think the fog is starting to clear. The outline is drawn, and now I am stepping into it, embodying it.

 

 

 

Related articles

A Page From an Astrologer's Diary: Progressed Moon Enters the First House
Carl Jung on Archetypes
Introverts, Extroverts, and Astrology
Happy Birthday Carl Jung! An Astrological Vignette

Introverts, Extroverts, and Astrology

Most of us ask ourselves at some point, "What makes me … me?" It's the number one question that draws people to astrology  and other typologies and has made it popular enough that most people know roughly what you mean when you ask them what their sign is, and they can usually tell you. Along with their sign, they may also be able to tell you whether they are right or left brained, their enneagram type, their Myers-Briggs designation, their life path digit, or any number of other classifications.

One designation that has become so ingrained in our language that we hardly think of twice about it is introversion versus extraversion. In popular use, it tends to be used to describe people who are more quiet or shy (introvert) as opposed to the people who are outgoing and sociable (extraverts*).

Carl-jungIn actuality, the definitions of these designations are still debated. Psychologist Carl Jung posited that people's psychic energy (as differentiated from physical energy) flowed in one of two directions, primarily: externally ('extra') and internally ('intro). Those who were predominantly introverted had their energy flow inward with a focus on the inner world, feelings, dreams, and thoughts. They don't tend to seek out others' company or opinions as often and tend not to collect many friends and acquaintances, but only one or two close friends with whom they establish trust. In contrast, an extravert's psychic energy flows outward. Extraverts turn their attention more often to the happenings in the outside world, and are more likely to become involved in things outside of their own mind. They are also more comfortable in situations of a highly social nature or situations with alot of activity than introverts.

Hans eysenck wikiPsychologist Hans Eysenck studied the concept of extraversion and introversion from a more biological approach. He theorized that extraverts and introverts differed in their baseline levels of cerebral cortex arousal, proposing that extraverts tend to have a lower baseline measurement than introverts. Therefore, extraverts seek out the stimulus that introverts might avoid,  because they 'need' more cortex arousal, whereas an introvert's baseline level is higher and can too easily become tipped into overdrive with too much external stimulus.

 

IntrovertWhile this specific theory could not be proven in the research, a number of experiments have shown that there is a difference in the ways certain parts of an introvert's brain responds versus the extrovert's brain. Various findings suggest that introverts seem to be more sensitive to stimulation than extraverts, being more quickly and strongly aroused in social or noisy situations. Some findings even suggest that introverts are more likely to have a higher level of response to caffeine and nicotine than extraverts. Brain scans have also shown differences between the two Because of findings like these, many researchers tend to describe extraverts and introverts in terms of their difference in sensitivity to stimulation, rather than simply how 'outgoing' or 'sociable' someone is.


Of course, being an extrovert or an introvert isn't a hard-defined yes or no 'check the correct box' scenario, but is more appropriately measured on a continuum, with some people landing close to the middle and others closer to the edges.


What does this have to do with astrology?

Although I'd adore the categorical simplicity of declaring all the 'yin' signs introverts and the 'yang' signs extroverts, observation shows it's not that simple. Like all things in astrology, the complexities of your specific chart are much richer and more significant than astrological generalities. It's the unique combination and repeated themes in a natal chart that would reveal things like introversion or extraversion. Still, here are some ideas to play with:

  • How concentrated are the planetary placements in your chart in the water houses: 4, 8, and 12? The activities these houses govern (from a psychospiritual, not necessarily traditional, viewpoint) tend to be more about inner life, such as one's private home environment, the inner terrain of the psyche, and the spiritual life. While one or two outer planets hanging out in one or more of these houses may not an introvert make, a stellium of personal planets in the 8th house certainly may!
  • Do you have a lot of planets placed in the 9th, 10th, or 11th houses? The southern (top) hemisphere of the chart is typically related to activities that take us away from a the more narrow life focus of self, family, or our own creative pursuits and in touch with bigger happenings such as participation in community, education, and travel. Big happenings in a big world.
  • Are your planetary placements in the signs weighted significantly more in water than in fire or vice versa? The water signs orient themselves to the world and their experience through feelings, whereas the fire signs orient on what inspires and provokes them to action.
  • What about the earth and air signs? Air can certainly have a social component which can lead to the desire to share ideas and stories with another, but that outlet can certainly be tapped through media rather than conversation. The earth signs tend to have a practical orientation to the world around them and like to accomplish things but a Virgo can analyze her own mind just as well as a company's financial report.

I hear you saying "but, but, but" and I agree; there are rebuttals to each argument and I'm making them all in my head as I go (is my Mercury in Libra showing)? Still, I think the chart as a whole, with many of the above possibilities combined and even more I haven't mentioned, can reveal an introverted or extraverted nature. Do you?

You, people: observe, test and report back.

 

*Extravert, extrovert. You say tomato, I say it's the same thing so don't bug me about it just to sound smart. If you really do want to know, though, Google it.

**Most tests I've come across seem to be biased toward introversion as an answer. Maybe because all those extroverts are out partying and not writing internet quizzes?


Related articlesAre you extroverted or introverted? Don't take your word for it. Take a quiz or two.** You're not busy.Wiki's take on it
Dissemination of a recent published study on brain processes
The brain scan idea

Introverts are Not Failed Extroverts
Misunderstood Introverts

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