This blog begins a new series devoted to examining each zodiac sign from the perspective of its personal evolutionary growth formula. This month we investigate Sagittarius and its ruling planet Jupiter. Jupiter will be a common theme as it plays out in each of the twelve signs. Jupiter’s tone and mode of expansion is colored by the nature of its sign and house placement in our birth chart. For each sign, we will investigate what attitudes, behaviors, choices, and techniques foster our evolution and what holds us back, keeps us stuck, or impedes our progress. First let’s look at Jupiter.
Jupiter – Exploration, Expansion and Evolution
Jupiter is a colossal hydrogen bubble with a diameter eleven times wider and a volume 1321 times greater than Planet Earth. It takes Jupiter approximately twelve years to orbit the Sun and it conveniently stays in each sign for very close to one year.
Jupiter’s key themes are exploration, expansion, and evolution. The sign and house placement of our natal Jupiter indicates (1) our competence that must be developed, (2) our passion, and (3) the nature of our progressive evolutionary development. Under the Jupiter (and Sagittarius) influence we expand our horizons with experiences that take us out of our comfort zone. We explore the unknown. We awaken our mind to a higher perspective.
Jupiter and Saturn – the Bridge between Worlds
Along with Saturn, Jupiter is situated between the three inner planets (representing personal characteristics and ego) and the three outer planets (representing impersonal Spirit.) The inner planets are (1) Mercury which expresses the nature of the human mind, (2) Venus which denotes our faculty of attraction, and what we love and desire, and (3) Mars which represents our vital energy and will. After Saturn we enter the realm of impersonal forces which serve to awaken our consciousness to universal qualities — Uranus (freedom), Neptune (oneness), Pluto (Truth).
Mercury, Venus, and Mars represent psychological aspects of our personality. Jupiter and Saturn express social evolutionary impulses. Jupiter’s territory is spiritual, religious, philosophical, legal, and political. Saturn deals with natural laws that hold reality together. Neptune’s realm is metaphysical.
Both the planets and the signs are archetypes or universal characters that are given expression through an infinite number of individual manifestations. (you, me, and everyone else) As we discuss their basic characteristics, identify specific examples as they come alive in your personal story, script, and play.
The Collective, Social Planets
Jupiter and Saturn deal with collective consciousness and social conditioning. They connect our personal ego identity with our soul and higher truths through our interaction with the collective and our earthly destiny and fate. They represent the evolutionary dynamics by which our consciousness is developed through human experiences.
Jupiter deals with moral codes, ethics, conscience, manmade laws, and social values that transcend personal preferences and self-interest (Venus). We conform to social norms because (1) we feel it is the right thing to do, (2) to gain the benefits of fitting into society, (3) to feel the security of being a part of the collective, and, of course, (4) to avoid suffering the consequences of non-conformity, social pressure, and legal penalties.
Saturn, which orbits the Sun beyond Jupiter, represents where we meet the limits of our expansion in physical reality. Saturn circumscribes what is accessible to us in our human incarnation. In Saturn territory we learn through contraction, restraint, limits, consolidation, and containment. Together Jupiter and Saturn delineate the bandwidth within which human life and spiritual connection are simultaneously possible.
The goals of the Jupiter/Saturn dance are (1) to live within physical limits, but not to be confined by artificial and socially imposed control and manipulation, (2) to take advantage of the range of available expansion to continually improve our inner and outer lives, (3) to identify and let go of artificial limits and not use them as excuses to stay stuck, (4) to embrace our growth process, and (5) to enjoy both the process and the results.
A very useful personal growth exercise for the end of the year is to examine the above points in relationship to how you have grown this year and where you envisage openings for the upcoming year.
Self and Society
Jupiter defines the nature of one’s collective involvement and the benefits derived from our participation. Understanding our natal Jupiter helps us define our potential personal contribution to the evolution of the collective and how we in turn profit and evolve from sharing with others.
Optimally, our participation is more soul than ego directed. We can consciously contribute our gifts and advance our collective evolution or we can immerse ourselves in the lowest expressions of materialistic goals and help maintain the mediocrity of the sleeping status quo. Our evolutionary path is about upgrading our level of awareness and involvement so that both society and ourselves benefit.
Jupiter defines the relationship between our personal path and our collective impact. It helps us understand the interconnection between our individual development and our social function. Through our social role and interactions we elevate our consciousness, expand our sense of identity, and add new dimensions and depth to our being. As we expand and evolve, we contribute to the collective well-being of our community and the Planet.
Jupiter is the Great Magnifier
Jupiter magnifies whatever it touches. Thus it can intensify both our anger and fear, our courage and love, our ego and our soul. The Jupiter factor influences how we use our power and direct our consciousness, both of which can be misdirected if we are not operating from our inner truth.
Jupiter opens the door to a bigger world, a vaster reality, and a vision of higher states of being. Jupiter expands our perception so that we can see possibilities and opportunities that previously were hidden from view.
Jupiter offers us energy and gives us confidence. Jupiter underwrites our life with the optimism and trust that empowers us to take a chance and to pursue our dreams. It gives us the hope and faith to actualize our aspirations.
Plug In Antennae
Jupiter is known as the great benefic, but its beneficence depends upon our ability to plug into the generosity of the Universe. Jupiter’s plug is happiness and joy. How we tune into this elevated state of being depends on our consciousness and how we express our personal blueprint. But regardless of our personal ‘tune in’ formula, our connective capacity is a function of our ability to align with cosmic forces and to monitor and then shift when we are energetically out of sync.
Jupiter’s gifts depend upon our ability to move beyond ego satisfaction and to resonate with the cosmic flow. Our resonance awakens us to a deep indescribable joy. It is this inner joy that creates the luck that manifests as opportunities. There are numerous ways that we weaken and destroy our good luck antennae. Negativity, judgments, and narrow beliefs block cosmic signals and confine us to a narrow range of receptivity. Gratitude, a positive attitude, openness, and acceptance empower our cosmic antennae and expand our receptive capacity.
HHHhHHHappiness and Divine Discontent
There are many expressions of happiness and joy. Venus refers to personal pleasure. Jupiter turns us on to the more subtle satisfaction and joy that comes from growth, evolution, and making a contribution. Jupiter also expresses the happiness that comes from attunement with spiritual truths, deeper meaning, and divine wisdom. Pisces awakens us to cosmic joy, resonance with universal love, and a state of grace.
The Earth signs find happiness in achievement, status, and work. The water signs appreciate emotional happiness. The air signs find mental and intellectual happiness. Inspiration ignites the fire signs.
Jupiter’s positive aspects are the subject of much motivational literature and teachings. Jupiter’s enthusiastic attitude combined with personal success stories often leads writers, speakers, and teachers to assure their audiences that their approach is infallibly true and will produce results for everyone who adopts it. However, simplistic formulas don’t provide the whole story. And what works for one person may not work for another. Jupiter also reminds us that good ideas must be integrated into our psyche through real life experience.
Happiness in Jupiter territory is never complete. Jupiter’s intermediary position in the planetary line-up gives rise to feelings of divine discontent, i.e. we get a peak at higher consciousness and want more than our limited ego-driven state of being. We are always thirsty for more and thus continually quest for deeper meaning and spiritual connection.
Direction – the Unknown
Although Jupiter represents all types of good fortune, its higher essence is more about quality than quantity. Our goals are to continually improve our existence, expand our consciousness, and live with an attitude of gratitude for the plentitude and generosity of the Earth. Jupiter’s tone is inspirational. Under Jupiter’s influence we have faith in the goodness of life and acknowledge Divine benevolence. We trust the unknown and have faith in the future.
Jupiter’s faith gives us the mental capacity to acknowledge a reality and possibilities that exist beyond our ability to perceive them with our rational mind. Jupiter takes us beyond the limits of physical reality, the confines of our ego-centric personality, and the torment of our neurotic tendencies to a belief in (and hopefully an experience of) an expanded soul identity and illumined state of being. Jupiter gives us the intuitive sense that what we see and feel is only a superficial taste of deeper dimensions of reality imbued with existential meaning, Light, and Love.
Socialization and Spiritual Awakening
Under the socializing influence of Jupiter we are motivated to conform to social standards, obey manmade laws, abide by ethical and more codes, and live according to high standards. If this socialization is composed of rigid and dogmatic rules, it can stifle personal freedom and creativity. The goal of Jupiter’s socialization role is not to confine us, but to open up opportunities and to provide safe and supportive environments for all members of society.
Jupiter promotes individual unfoldment as a social value, which encourages us to be contributory members of our community and to live purposeful lives. Jupiter entices us to journey beyond our known self to discover the light of our soul. We maintain our human face, but we attune to a subtle sensitivity of our identity as part of both a collective and a cosmic whole.
Growth and evolution toward wholeness is accomplished through our individualization process and participation in earthly activities. Spiritual awakening happens through our experiences in physical reality. We learn through the meaning and purpose imbued in our mundane experiences. We find deep existential contentment when we are able to witness how the world of Spirit plays out in our human lives.
Microcosm and Macrocosm Meet — Integrating Two Worlds
Jupiter and Sagittarius represent the bridge where we perceive the unity between our individual soul and the cosmic soul (microcosm and macrocosm) — our communion with Spirit where our sensitivity makes it possible to relate to universal forces. In awe of a cosmic Presence, we search for a unifying truth and our personal experience of oneness with the cosmos.
In Jupiter territory, we exist simultaneously in two worlds — physical and non-physical. Both Jupiter and Sagittarius are concerned with the interaction between physical non physical realities. The desire to improve material life is interwoven with a preoccupation with spiritual ideals, inspiration, and ethics. The Sagittarian Centaur has a horse body and human torso and head. Grounded in an animal body, the human mind directs its vision and points its arrow towards the heavens. The question is — if and where will our arrow land. Are we grounded enough to bring dreams into reality and ideas into manifestation?
Sagittarius, Jupiter, and the 9th House
The most important aspects of the fiery Sagittarius spirit are (1) the quest for meaning, (2) dedication to a purpose, and (3) search for higher truth and universal principles. The Archer needs to make sense of life and uncover the deeper significance and purpose in life’s activities. Sagittarius is born with the inherent capacity to believe in possibilities and to devote one’s life to creating something that has never been created before. It is propelled by the urge to be an innovator, a pioneer, and a unique agent of change.
Key concepts that define Sagittarius and Jupiter and influence planets that reside in the ninth house include aspirations, broad vision, spiritual growth, self-knowledge, spiritual perspective, quality of life, over-riding ideals, ends, the beliefs that determine our behavior and choices, the moral, ethical dimension of life, holistic perspective, and intuitive insights.
The Sagittarius attitude is generous, encouraging, open to new experiences and information, willing and eager to explore unchartered territory. Its openness allows new discoveries and lets in new information. It likes to explore the unknown and experiment with new possibilities, with the intention of discovering and awakening what is latent and hidden.
Both Sagittarius and its polarity Gemini are active, outgoing, and inquisitive. Both need mental stimulation, communication, and interaction. Once boredom sets in, which it often does, they must move on to new adventures. Neither can be contained.
The many gifts of both Jupiter and Sagittarius include optimism, self-confidence, faith in oneself, and enthusiasm. All these qualities magnetize opportunities to us, amplify our luck, and bring unexpected good fortune. These positive attitudes and belief system are the guiding principles of most motivational material, which too often omits or understates the corresponding challenges and takes advantage of our gullibility, which makes us prey to the traps set by ‘get rich (thin, famous) quick’ schemes. But Saturn is the guardian at the gate and is always there to remind us that there are no quick fixes or easy ways out. We must learn our lessons in order to pass GO.
Challenges and Weaknesses
The problems and challenges associated with both Jupiter and Sagittarius express in lower egocentric consciousness — inflated self-importance, extravagance, excess, overconfidence, megalomania, over-indulging in general (including food and materialism,) and conformist fanaticism. We can box ourselves in with religious fundamentalism, rigid beliefs, dogma, and moralistic social conditioning. When the above imbed themselves in our psyche, we can be controlled by fear, guilt, and shame.
Both Jupiter and Sagittarius become unreasonable when their convictions are based on absolute, unconditional, and fixed opinions. Both can be inflexible, intolerant, defensive, and instinctually reject criticism. They like to be right, get lost in lofty ideals, stay fixated in rigid beliefs, are prone to ignore practical facts, and get lost in possibilities.
The Human Mind
The human mind is endowed with different capacities for learning, knowing, and understanding life. Each aspect of the mind has its own approach and perspective, which are represented in astrology by the four mutable signs. (organizing in the G-O-D scheme.) Gemini (Mercury) sees what can be measured. Virgo (Mercury) looks under the microscope. Sagittarius (Jupiter) looks through the telescope. Pisces (Neptune) tunes in beyond what the telescope can see. All are in a state of constant flux,
change, and movement in order to gain the many life experiences needed to learn and to evolve as we sail into unchartered seas.
Mercury is designated as the ruler of both Gemini and Virgo. Jupiter was the designated ruler of both Sagittarius and Pisces until the discovery of Neptune. Many of Jupiter’s qualities also describe Pisces.
Mercury/Gemini/Virgo represent our dualistic analytical mind, which has the capacity to separate the parts for detailed analysis and examination. It engages in data accumulation, measurement, quantification, and objective observation of how things are in physical form. It is reductionistic, atomistic, and mechanical in nature.
The Higher Mind and Universal Mind
Divine Mind or Universal Mind is the cosmic intelligence that creates all reality and is self-directed and sustained by light, justice, truth, higher love, and beneficence. It is through what is referred to as our higher mind that we tune into, connect to, and are directed by the universal mind. The higher mind is also called the neutral mind, which I discuss in depth in my new book The Power of Neutral *(1)
Our higher/neutral mind gives us access to the worlds of Jupiter, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Neptune. Although it is impossible to delineate where Jupiter territory ends and Neptune territory begins, we can understand that Jupiter is the bridge to the higher cosmic zone. Sagittarius points us in the direction of Pisces. We must first cross Jupiter territory to reach Neptune’s realm.
Our higher/neutral mind expands our mental scope beyond physical limits, (2) makes it possible to transcend physical perceptions, (3) gives us the capacity to develop awareness of transcendent realities and higher consciousness, and (4) gives us access to our intuition and inspired reason, which is not irrational even though it cannot be explained by our rational mind.
Bibliography and Footnotes
*(1) See my blog on The Powers of Neutral, where I share excerpts from my new book, The Power of Neutral — Soul Alchemy in Meditation.
Arroyo, Stephen, Jupiter — The Gateway to Developing Your Potential, The Mountain Astrologer, December/January 2014, pp 45-52.
Flavey, Tom, The Mountain Astrologer, December/January 2014, pp. 53-59.