Aspects of Life
Onward and upward we travel in our aspect survey with Jupiter next. Though tradition calls Jupiter the “Great Benefic,” the research of the Gauquelins gives us perhaps the most dramatic example of the old cliché regarding too much of a good thing. Key character descriptions associated with people having Jupiter in the “zones of power,” included harsh, self-willed and mastership. Early Gauquelin work found Jupiter in the zones of power among actors, politicians and Nazi leaders!
We must remember that the “zones of power” correspond almost exactly to the Placidian 9th and 12th houses plus the first ten degrees of the 10th and 1st houses. The 9th and 12th are our two houses where human beings are seeking an absolute—something final, total, all- encompassing by which to live their lives. It is easy to take whatever we turn into a “god” to extremes.
Jupiter represents the intellectual absolute, the potential of too much, exaggerated versions, excessive expression and general overdose tendencies. Where Jupiter is a key, we tend to define those qualities or those areas of life as giving meaning and purpose, as ultimate ideals.
Jupiter/Jupiter contacts then, put our ideals, values (in a spiritual / religious / philosophical sense), faith and trust in high focus. With the double fire emphasis, confidence and optimism can be quite high. Since many people in our culture block their fire potential, it is no surprise that many point to strong Jupiter periods as times when they felt more alive, more zestful, more able to cope with life, more likely to achieve their goals. However, the individual who already expresses plenty of his/her fire nature is likely to take the courage, blind faith and excessive trust indicated by Jupiter aspects to ridiculous extremes. One need only look at Earth’s history of religious wars to know that faith and trust in a Higher Power do not always lead to a happy ending. One of our more inspiring songs talks of being willing “to march into hell for a heavenly cause.” Too often, the religious warriors of past (and present) were sending those around them into the next dimension.
Jupiter represents the quest—a seeking, searching energy. The emphasis is on expansion—looking for more. Depending on one’s values (illustrated by other keys to Letter 9 in the chart along with Letter 12 and possibly some of Letter 11), the quest may be for more knowledge, more education, more travel, more philosophy, more words, more fun or more of whatever that individual defines as “the best.” Periods with strong Jupiter aspects are quite appropriate for examining one’s world view and belief systems. The danger is in assuming that our version of truth, reality, morality or “the way life is” constitute the only answers. Then, indeed, does Jupiter signify a ruthless, arrogant, self-willed determination to ram our own ideas and ideals down everyone else’s throats.
I find it fascinating that Jupiter is also associated with humor. Humor is a superb tool for shifting world views; laughter helps to lift us out of a particular mind set. And many jokes rely on a shift in the frame of reference (way of perceiving) for the humor of the “punch line.” Thus Jupiter denotes both the possibility of exaggerated reliance on a certain point of view AND the ability to shift perspectives through the use of humor.
Examining our priorities is especially helpful during Jupiter patterns. We need to question our beliefs and what we trust. Have we placed our faith in areas that are truly infinite or are we looking for an absolute in a finite part of life (e.g., money, a relationship, a degree)? Do we have sufficient faith—in ourselves to be able to act with confidence and optimism, and in a Higher Power so that we do not feel responsible for everything? What are our ideals, our long-range goals, our values? What do we believe is the greatest good?
If we can answer the above questions with relative comfort, while knowing we do NOT have all the answers, the odds favor us enjoying an educational, lively, fun-filled and exciting period. We could easily travel more, study more, increase our education, buy books, write books, teach others, philosophize, preach, play more and engage in other seeking, searching, expansive activities.
If we are still unsure in certain basic concepts or beliefs, Jupiter periods denote our inner willingness to face these issues and attempt to come to terms with our needs for Higher Truths. If our faith is excessive, or placed in a limited part of life, we will have the opportunity to realize what is going on and to make changes. (The opportunity for insight may be painful, but the potential of positive action is still there.) We may have to experience tremendous disillusionment, bubbles bursting and idols crashing before we can move in a new direction with our ideals.
I think of Jupiter as part of our desire for transcendence—for growth, for improvement. As long as we remember that bigger is NOT always better and that new truths are constantly being discovered, the inspiring experience of reaching for the heights can be one which lifts us beyond the mundane, everyday experience to truly give us those “peak experiences”—those cosmic moments of feeling the wondrousness of life.
Harmony aspects would imply that there is a relatively smooth flow where Jupiter themes are concerned. It may be easy for us to learn, to teach, to travel, to exchange philosophical, religious or spiritual ideas. We may be quite naturally fun-loving and extroverted. Excesses, however, are the main danger of harmony aspects—and no more so than in the case of Jupiter. Overreach, delusions of grandeur, foolish extravagance, gambling and other forms of exaggeration are certainly possible if we are not expressing our Jupiter side with a modicum of circumspection.
Conflict aspects imply inner ambivalence in these areas. We may very well have clashes in values. Our desire for fun, humor and play may be at odds with our perceived spiritual needs. Our goals for education may war with our wish to travel. We may exhibit excessive faith in some areas and a lack of faith in others. Our ideas may differ sufficiently to feel as if we are indeed, coming from “another dimension” at times. The challenge, of course, is to integrate the various sides, to make room for all (or as many as are reasonable) in our life. Among other things, that necessitates some prioritizing. Establishing a hierarchy of goals, values and ideals can often help us sort things through and clarify our beliefs.
A classic dichotomy: with Jupiter and Saturn we combine the ultimate in expansion with the ultimate in contraction. And yet, such polarities are the stuff of life. The conjunction points to a marriage of these two principles—we do not get one without the other. They are together—for good or ill.
If we can integrate the two, we have a molten lava (fire/earth) combination which is incredibly effective. Noted since ancient times as a symbol of a “Great Teacher,” this configuration can point to an individual (or a time in our lives) combining great insights about life with great practicality. The ivory towered professor meets the hard-headed businesswoman and they work together for optimal results. The ideals, ideas and goals (said by Jupiter) are brought down to earth and made concrete (Saturn); they are manifested in the material world. Here we can have the pragmatic visionary. Since both planets are transpersonal, the teaching may, indeed, affect masses of people, or even the entire world.
If the principles exemplified by Jupiter and Saturn are at war within our psyches, we may overdo either side at the expense of the other. If Jupiter themes are expressed (and Saturn themes denied), we will have an excess of exaggerative behaviors, blind faith, excessive confidence, extravagance, overly abstract philosophizing, carelessly hedonistic pleasure-seeking, grandiose ideas with no foundation. (This is more likely, of course, in situations where other fire, and possibly air, factors are prominent in the picture—or when the natal chart is strongly oriented towards excess.)
If Saturn themes are expressed (and Jupiter themes are repressed), we will feel our dreams have died, frustrated that we can never achieve our ideals (and why try?), blocked (by inner perceived inadequacies or outer assumed barriers) from education, religion, faith, trust, fun, etc. We may blame ourselves, authority figures or other convenient scapegoats for our frustrations, anxieties and insecurities. We may succumb to depression that life is not as perfect as we think it ought to be.
A rather interesting mixture occurs when people simultaneously overdo both Saturn and Jupiter themes. They expect more than is humanly possible (Jupiter) and are realistically unable to achieve it (Saturn) or simply perceive themselves as blocked or inhibited (Saturn). For such people, the experience of deprivation is all the more harsh and overpowering—because their initial goals were so very high. (One interesting study of revolutions found a pattern of people revolting—not when things were totally awful and bottom-of-the-barrel—but rather when the people had some modicum of improvement and had RISING EXPECTATIONS. For example, their new TV sets revealed to them how much BETTER some people lived than they did.)
We often forget how much our reactions are molded by our expectations of life. We make certain assumptions (about life, reality, “how things are,” and what we think will happen). We then operate under those assumptions and are happy or cast down, depending on how they are fulfilled. A simple example is the case of an individual who orders a book. In scenario A, the store promises to have the book in stock in four weeks. The book arrives in three weeks, and the person is delighted. In scenario B, the store promises to have the book in stock in two weeks. The book arrives in three weeks, and the person is irritated. What, then, is the cause of this irritation—the fact that the book arrived in three weeks? Ah, no, the irritation is because that person EXPECTED the book in two weeks!
Most of us would shrug off such disappointments relatively easily when “only a book” is concerned. Yet, how often do we make ourselves miserable with other expectations which clash with the reality principle of life or other needs/desires within us? “I expected you to always love me.” (which means never saying a harsh word— or perhaps it means always kissing me hello—or perhaps it means always agreeing with me—or perhaps it means taking care of me financially—or perhaps it means always listening patiently to my troubles—or perhaps it means never admiring anyone else—or perhaps it means making love whenever I want to—or perhaps it means fixing dinner for me every night...)
“I expected you to be reasonable” (which means don’t show me your emotions—or don’t argue with me—or do what I want you to do—or agree with the current, mainstream political/social thoughts—or listen to my side of the story).
“I expected better of myself” (which means I’m not supposed to make any mistakes—or I’m not allowed to be human—or I am not permitted to be less than perfect).
“If God is just, why is there....in the world?” (which means—why isn’t the world the way I think it ought to be—why don’t I have all the answers to life—my definition of a deity does not conform to what I see happening in the world).
Part of the reality principle represented by Saturn is learning through experience. We try something— and find out what happens. Based on the consequences, we engage in the same or similar behavior next time—or we try something else hoping for a more satisfying consequence. The goals of Jupiter lead naturally to the earthy experience of Saturn. Without the soul- spark, the inspired (fire) zest denoted by Jupiter, we might sit around in our structures forever. But aspirations are tested through experience—and that requires working within the rules, the basic foundation of life.
Harmony aspects imply that this natural teamwork comes relatively easily to the individual. Such people find their basic assumptions and expectations about life tend to flow smoothly within the structure of the universe. (That is one definition of luck after all—things tend to work out for you!) Of course, excesses are still possible with harmony aspects. We would always consider the context of the rest of the chart.
Conflict aspects imply we need to do some examining of the mesh between the rules of the game of life (as perceived by us) and the beliefs and assumptions we are making about reality. Confidence married to discipline can create truly great works—if we give ourselves a chance!
Fly me to the Moon! With two of our three freedom planets and two of our four transpersonal planets, even the sky is not the limit! This fire/air conjunction can indicate an extremely progressive, futuristic orientation. Concerned with the big picture, individuals with this conjunction often have a passion for justice. With their ideals (Jupiter) bound to humanity (Uranus), they are concerned with what is best for the world as a whole (however they define “best”). Since both Jupiter and Uranus are keys to forward-going themes in the nature, the bent is usually optimistic, up, expecting better in the future. Beliefs (Jupiter) are often unconventional (Uranus), even rebellious. Trust may be placed in new technology, in friends, in the future, in the legislature (and legislated laws) and in the mind.
Usually this conjunction denotes a decided intellectual bent. Often the individuals are quite bright and articulate. Their search for knowledge and understanding tends to be a lifelong quest, as they are continually revamping, revising, experimenting anew and changing their answers as they have new experiences and data. Of course, if the idealism of the intellect is carried to an extreme, we can have people who are super rationalizers and wouldn’t recognize a feeling unless it walked up and slapped their book shut.
Remembering that whatever is connected to Jupiter can be idealized and expressed in an overdone, exaggerated fashion, we can have: excessive rebelliousness, total chaos, extreme anarchy, overdone intellectualism, arrogant individualism, a worship of groups, a blind faith in technology, an inordinate trust in democracy and the democratic process, “My friends can do no wrong,” “astrology is the ultimate truth,” and other Uranian extremes.
The meaning of the conjunction applies both ways, of course. The individual may have original ideas, eccentric beliefs, strange assumptions, unusual expectations, a rebellious world view, unconventional religious/spiritual/philosophical approaches, group values and/or make friendship, humanitarianism, astrology, or the mind their ultimate value.
None of these options has to be a problem, of course. It all depends on how we handle the themes. Harmony aspects imply an easy working partnership—and there is much in common between these two. If the individual succumbs to overdoing, we are likely to see excesses around issues of freedom, the mind and the transpersonal arena— where the commonalities of Uranus and Jupiter lie. One potential is the “runaway.” The combination of both Jupiter and Uranus can point to the individual who feels, “If I don’t like it, I can always leave!” They believe in the old cliché of the grass is greener... Another role is the sage—who always has a “logical” explanation for why s/he is right. And then there is the person who is too busy saving the whales, saving the poor, saving the downtrodden to relate to ordinary human beings. Again, none of these themes are—in and of themselves—negative. It depends on the degree to which we express them and the circumstances we choose.
Conflict aspects suggest ambivalences and differences of opinion. It could be our inspired, emotional, fiery approach (Jupiter) clashes with our more logical, rational, cool-headed knowledge (Uranus). Our beliefs may seem at odds with those of our friends, groups or humanity at large. Our religious, spiritual or philosophical assumptions may not leave room for our individuality and uniqueness (or vice versa). In our government this is the checks and balances between the judicial and legislative branches. Within us, we might consider it the contrast between ethical and moral principles in pure form (Jupiter) versus consensual or situation ethics with feedback from the people around us (Uranus). Our needs to travel may compete with our desire to exchange ideas with many people. Our educational goals may inhibit our ability to be free and not tied down. As with any conflict situation, the goal is to find ways to incorporate both themes—in moderation—in our lives.
A dream within a dream? This is absolutely the Absolute. However we define it, it must be in capital letters—Idealistic, Perfectionistic, concerned with Meaning. If Jupiter is “great expectations,” a conjunction to Neptune just raises that to the nth power! Do not expect halfway measures here! The combination is fire/water, so we are guaranteeing emotional intensity. Add the fact that we are dealing with the search for the Absolute on both an intellectual (Jupiter) and an intuitive (Neptune) level, and we have a strong theme of GOING ALL THE WAY.
By definition, God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and whatever other “omnis” you choose to add. Therefore, it stands to reason that anything we turn into a god, we will expect to be unlimited! Such are the traps we lay for ourselves. When the reality principle of Saturn catches up to our grandiose expectations, our cherished illusions will be tested against the real world. Disillusionment, disenchantment, waking up from a fantasy, disappointment, let- down and other discouraging adjectives apply to the experience of discovering one’s idols are clay, those we revered have fallen off their pedestals, our heartfelt ideals do not work and our world views are revealed as incomplete maps with major flaws, blank spots and gaps.
Naturally, the above is NOT the only option. While it is true that IF we place our faith in limited areas, we will probably be disappointed, we can choose to seek the infinite in other areas. Jupiter/Neptune contacts can point to a very deep, profound, healthy and unshakeable faith—that is unconscious as well as conscious. They can point to the natural mystic and idealist who trusts in the goodness of the Universe and whose life flows in tune with the cosmos. They can signify a tremendous compassion for the world backed by the intellect to do something about it. They can represent a yearning for beauty, a seeking of perfection, an idealistic quest for improving the Earth in some fashion. Jupiter/Neptune conjunctions can indicate the potential of truly “walking a mile” in someone else’s moccasins. They point to the possibility of understanding on a very deep, feeling level, perhaps with psychic openness (Neptune)—the world view (Jupiter) of another human being. What greater gift can we give another person than to truly experience where s/he is “coming from.” That ability is a primary skill of the best psychotherapists and—I suspect—the most cherished friends and family.
If it is true that everything begins with the soul (inner wisdom, God within) and visualization is an important tool, then Jupiter/Neptune contacts ought to be, indeed, the Absolute in terms of potential power. Here, we see the primary keys to aspirations and inspiration, in tandem. What must lie at the fingertips of such people! Vast dimensions of possibilities stretch out before us. Whatever the imagination can conceive... Yet therein, too, lies the peril. Because life includes Saturn (and nine other principles). By definition, our dreams confront reality. Yet, with our dreams and vision, we can also change reality. And that is power!
Harmony aspects emphasize the potential idealism and absolutism of these two planets. Excesses of faith— too much and too little are certainly possible. Trusting in the wrong areas can occur. Turning limited parts of life (be it a lover, a child, a job, a bank account, etc.) into god is an option. The freedom urges denoted by Jupiter can combine with the fantasy potential of Neptune to run away with the mind and imagination. Escapist routes may be followed—rather than facing the reality of an imperfect world. Of course, the person can also try to play god him/herself—and end up doing too much, trying too hard, frustrated because s/he cannot be everything to everyone.
Conflict aspects imply an inner struggle and we would look particularly to points of potential difference between Jupiter and Neptune. One struggle can be the truth versus compassion. Where Letter 9 points to honesty, directness and a forthright confrontation of “The Truth” (however we define it), Letter 12 empathizes with all of life and would prefer not to hurt anyone. Letter 12 does not exactly lie—because in a universe where everything is ONE and all things are possible—any statement is also possible (on some level, in some sense). [And I think the capacity to accept that statement would have to be indicated by strong Letter 12 in your horoscope.] Depending on the individual (and mirrored in the chart), the struggle may be more with how much to reveal (or not) to friends, to children, to partners, to co-workers, etc.
Another potential difference lies in the process of understanding. Jupiter is fire, but more intellectual than the other fire letters (1 and 5). I visualize Jupiter as the spark of understanding (which can also jump to conclusions). It is the tendency to extrapolate from one piece of knowledge to a much larger whole. But the fundamental underpinnings are still intellectual and a cognitive understanding—which can be expressed in words and concepts. Neptune, by contrast, understands on a gut, feeling, intuitive level. Neptune denotes the inner wisdom, the knowledge that is (that was, that always will be). It is the infinite Source into which we can all tap, if we only allow ourselves. It is the “knowledge” that “surpasseth understanding.” Neptune points to our Union, our merging with the infinite. That is an experience beyond words, beyond limited human conceptions, beyond the pitiful structure of language, beyond our levels of description.
Jupiter represents our part of our extroverted side—the need to rush forth, to discover, to explore, to learn, to comprehend, to question and to find answers. Neptune represents part of our introverted side—the need to go within, to find inner meaning, to reconnect with All That Is.
Naturally, if any of these differing needs are at odds with one another, we can have conflict—until we integrate and reach resolution.
A few words about resolution: it doesn’t exist. Or, at least, it is never permanent. Life is a PROCESS. Particularly, when dealing with the themes of the Absolutes, it behooves us to remember that “Happily Ever After” is a myth. That is, in the sense of: “I’ve solved that issue. Now I’ll never have to deal with that again.” Life is change. We master one challenge to move to the next. We integrate two themes, only to meet them again in new guises. We pass one level of experience only to find our old friends, in new disguises, on the next level. The seductive, siren call of Jupiter and Neptune is the “Someday I’ll be perfect” expectation. Anyone who defines his/her “someday” as having to occur in THIS lifetime is likely to experience great disillusionment.
When I was 19 and away at college, I was amazed at how my world was expanded. I was convinced I knew a great deal and basically had my life together. Of course, I expected to keep on learning, but I believed my fundamental understanding of life was pretty darn good!
When I was 25 and out of graduate school, I was amazed at how my world had expanded. I was convinced I knew a great deal more and NOW basically had my life together. Of course, I expected to keep on learning, but I believed my fundamental understanding of life was pretty darn good!
Now that I am 32, my world has expanded even more. I am amazed at what I have learned. I have moments of feeling like my life is basically all together. I enjoy the moments to the hilt, knowing they are fleeting because I remember 19, and 25!
Jupiter is within two degrees of the ruler of my Ascendant. I continually remind myself that truth is relative and my version is not the only way (because I know how much I’d like to believe it is)! I am beginning to learn—on a gut level—that there is more than one “right” answer to most questions. I’m beginning to truly enter (on a feeling level—at least for short periods) the world views of some other people. The older I get, the more the Universe expands. I know of no greater exhilaration!