One of the first things we learn–or rather, latch on to–when we begin learning astrology is the serendipity of Jupiter. Wherever Jupiter falls in a chart is lucky, the books tell us. Jupiter is the planet of adventure and good feelings. He’s a good guy, ruler of happy, expansive Sag. We want him in our relationships. He’ll buy you a drink and loan you his sweater and entertain you with the stories that he picked up traveling around the world. He makes us feel free, unfettered, and yet part of something bigger, a bigger plan. When you’re with him, you feel more than yourself, you feel as if you’re connected to a greater path, a greater meaning for your mundane existence. You’ll feel so happy and safe around him that you lose yourself a little, put your guard down…and then you need to watch out, dear reader, because this creature is not what he is cracked up to be. Some killers charm their victims, first…
Well, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating here. A little.
But Jupiter is not what he seems. Don’t trust this guy. There’s something a little fishy about him. Literally.
When I think of Jupiter, I think of Janus, and the gateways to time…oh, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.
I suppose I’ll be bursting bubbles for a number of you, but burst bubbles are a lot of what Jupiter is about. As far as co-rulerships are concerned, many students of astrology think that the ‘old guys’ with their astrolabes had too many signs and not enough planets, so they arbitrarily assigned double duty to a few until the rightful rulers would be discovered. It didn’t quite work that way. There is more logic and resonance to old rulerships than most realize.
Jupiter is portrayed in mythology as the king of the gods, the Roman equivalent of Zeus. He is all-expansive, free of the shackles of expectations, boundaries and rules. The usual depiction of a planet conjunct Jupiter is that the planet will go overboard with both its good qualities and its flaws, and carry things too far. It will be too big for its britches. What’s the harm in that, compared to all the nonsense we have to put up with over the outer planets, or restrictive Saturn? Most of us feel we could use a little boundary-breaking most of the time. Mercury/Jupiter talks (or thinks) too much; Moon/Jupiter indulges in the senses; Mars/Jupiter can be a little too–um–let’s call it enthusiastic. What’s the harm?
None, really, if it remains at that level. Jupiter has his innocent side, his abundance of energy and enthusiasm. Most of us don’t really pay attention much to Jupiter (unless it falls in a good place in our synastries and we’re dying to hear the good news). But we should. A lot of Jupiter-oriented harm gets attributed to many other parts and points in the chart, and, typical of Jupiter, he gets off scot free. Jupiter, you see, is the co-ruler of Pisces, and as such has a very different side to him.
I have seen more divorces happen when Jupiter is involved with the Descendant or progressed Descendant, and more jobs lost when Jupiter is on the M.C. I’ve seen folks lose their homes or family members when Jupiter crosses the I.C.. And when Jupiter is on the Ascendant, sure, good things can happen, and we can discover a new sense of freedom, but underneath that freedom there is often great sacrifice or loss of identity involved. Saturn, you see, is the planet of material reward, not Jupiter. There is no such thing as a free lunch, they used to say–a very Saturn saying–and they should say it again when Jupiter puts on his carefree charm. Or, to quote from Shakespeare’s King Lear, that great monument to dark Jupiter, “Nothing will come of nothing.” Over and over again, I’ve seen Jupiter tip over the edge a situation that was manageable before he showed up. He unlocks our chains, cuts our restraints. But sometimes, restraints are needed.
It all comes back to a very simple astrological truth we sometimes forget: Jupiter is not always about the good stuff. Admit it–how many times have we waited for a Jupiter transit to bring something good and new into our lives, only to be completely disappointed, maybe even flattened by it? The fish swims both ways, and he has his slippery side. The duality of Jupiter is something Neptune has persuaded us to forget. This interpretation of Pisces, of Pisces as represented by extremes of light and dark, is something that has been lost under Neptune’s rulership of dissolution, confusion and divine discontent. But Pisces can be all about extremes, all about choosing roads to heaven or hell, and Jupiter is very much embroiled in these questions of judgement.
Now, I’ve spoken of using secondary rulers on a regular basis. In progression, they’re vital, and by transit, they provide important details that are often missed. The outer planets are transpersonal planets, we can’t access them or connect with them the way we do our inner planets. Our inner planets provide us with the means to negotiate our day to day existence. Sure, Saturn is a pain, but we can deal with him because he’s about real, day to day things and responds to our ministrations. Try talking to Pluto or Neptune, and you’ll see what I mean–if you’re lucky, you’ll walk away deaf and/or dazed. The secondary, or ‘old’ rulers, provide a direct access to the more other-worldly energies of the outer planets via their signs. So, on a real, day to day level, we have Saturn acting on behalf of Aquarius, Mars acting for Scorpio, and Jupiter acting for Pisces. Note that this is very different from the octave issue that we have been reading about for the past few weeks. Octaves have to do with outer planets elevating the energy of the inner planets who are linked to them. Secondary rulerships are about signs having another, more down to earth, representative in the chart.
You’ll notice that, in a chart without outer planets, these three are the furthest from the Sun–Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, which I think is fitting. They represent the limits of the ego, and of material existence (Saturn) and what leads up to and creates material existence: desire (via Mars) and vision (via Jupiter). Put those together with the architectural abilities of Saturn and you really have something. They are about what and how we create from our desire–the concrete result of our lives. Also, in zodiacal order, you have the entire last quarter of the chart covered by these rulers: Scorpio, Sag, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. This is not an accident. These planetary energies represent the limits of the existence of man. Co-rulers can give us a better handle on what actually has to be done regarding a transit or progression, while the outer planet energy defines the issue.
Back to Jupiter. His two astrological ‘jobs,’ so to speak, are not arbitrary, they’re related. Before Neptune was discovered, Jupiter was the planet that represented the boundary-crashing existence, the ultimate seeker. Jupiter also represented the way we go too far, sailing over the edge of reason into the unknown. If you think that happy go lucky Sag and dreamy Pisces are not related, think again. Both are mutable signs, and they are the last two stops in the great Mutable Story, which explains to us how information becomes knowledge becomes wisdom becomes universal principle. Mercury rules the first two stages through Gem and Virgo. Wisdom and universal truth are the second two stages: both belong to Jupiter. You can begin to appreciate the way Jupiter represents, in essence, the graspable face of Neptune.
Jupiter, in his Piscean guise, is the king of letting go. Before we allow something into our lives, something has to be cleared out, space has to be made for it. This is what Jupiter is good at, because he knows if space is not made there will be chaos. If you are longing for a new job but haven’t done anything about it, you might just get your wish when Jupiter transits your tenth house or your twelfth house and you become redundant. Now you have to get a new job, lucky you. It doesn’t quite have the watery, chaotic, dissolving element of Neptune, but it does the job just the same. If you are hanging on in a relationship that was only made out of security needs, Jupiter’s need to move forward will outweigh your need for safety. Jupiter is also the king of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Be careful if you’re not prepared to make the proper sacrifices. There is a very large leap between a vision and a dream.
Jupiter is prominent in the charts of great law-makers and law-breakers. In the first case, Jupiter causes an individual to sacrifice ego to the greater good and follow the universal laws. The Piscean side of Jupiter can reveal itself in a compassionate wisdom that is free from personal interest. At its best, Jupiter as representative of Pisces carries an intuitive higher knowledge which affects everything it touches. Jupiter, as an elevated expression of Mercury, is able to connect us to the knowledge of other realms, and can go beyond logical boundaries to create meaning where there was only the dissonance of contradicting information. In this way, Jupiter transcends boundaries (Jupiter is part of the series of ‘3’, which is about transcending the boundaries of the duality of the 2) and Jupiter is a natural representative of ‘the All.’
That ‘All’ can get us into trouble when the ego does not get out of the way (a very Piscean concept). Then we want everything, we’re greedy, we don’t know where to stop. We’re bigger than the law. Our hungers and needs grow enormous, and they can take over. It was a little eerie to discover, in my research on the Black Moon, that Jeffrey Dahmer, Peter Sutcliffe, and Charles Manson all have/had Jupiter in hard aspect to BML. Again, Jupiter exaggerates whatever it touches, for better or worse, and though Sag has a reputation for making things larger than life, I leave it to Pisces to remove the barriers.
With Jupiter, we can become so blinded by our vision that we do not see. We can fall headlong into a trap that was right in front of our eyes all the time. One of Jupiter’s great flaws is that he becomes fixated on potentials rather than face the reality. We often attribute this quality to Neptune, but it’s really Jupiter’s realm, the realm of potential where everything is forever young and always possible. Entire lives can be sacrificed to this realm, and much pain and suffering can come of it once the truth is revealed. Ask Willy Loman.
Fortunately, with Jupiter, we have a choice. If you have a heavily Piscean chart, with Neptune running rampant over you, it’s often Jupiter who will see you through, because he knows when he has reached a crossroads. Jupiter has a sense of judgement that Neptune does not, and Jupiter can provide an answer to the chaos and confusion in the house that Pisces rules.
In Part Two, we will take a look at Jupiter’s role as keeper of the gate.