|Zeus to the Greeks; Jupiter or Jove to the Romans|
"I have a terrible time when Jupiter is aspecting things. Rather than being a benevolent and blossoming force, he's like the biggest bitch in the world, but too mean-spirited to even talk to me -- just takes and shuts things down. Very odd. I wondered if you had any bright ideas about that."
Hmm – an interesting problem, and actually not unique. Jupiter's "benevolence" is seldom as clearcut as one would like. With her permission, I reproduce her chart here, and also with permission I'll tell you the relevant bits of biography. I'll call my friend X.
This is a hell of a tough chart with all that 12th house energy plus the tricky generational line up of Pluto-Uranus opposing Saturn-Chiron in a very tight conjunction. This generational tension pulls in the chart ruler, Venus, meaning that X personally feels that intense, aggressive Pluto-Uranus – not easy at all – and it is an opposition. Venus is in the crosshairs of Pluto-Uranus.
By tradition Jupiter in Gemini is debilitated – the blessings are scattered. In particular, the mind is said to be affected. Some astrologers say this is the signature of a Jack of all trades who is master of none, or of a shallow mind. In fact, X does have a lot interests and she is a collector of information (Gemini), but she has a mind like a steel-tack, and shallow? Not at all. I have found that Jupiter in Gemini is often very clever. And my friend is very smart indeed but most particularly she is an enormously (Jupiter) talented (2nd house) writer (Gemini) and one of the most articulate conversationalists I have ever met. Truly she has a real facility with words – a gift from the king of the gods.
Jupiter squares that damaged Saturn-Chiron, expanding it. Saturn often represents the father in a chart and in X's case, I can tell you that he was both a damaged and damaging individual, whose abuse of power hit my friend exactly, smack, in her sense of self, the chart ruler Venus actually exalted there in Pisces, but also assaulted by Pluto-Uranus.
Any transit to natal Jupiter is going to open up those old wounds from her father, but also the inner father too. Look at that stellium in Pisces/Aries: it starts with Venus and ends with the Moon, the two female planets. They are split asunder by the intervention of Saturn-Chiron and mental Mercury. As a child, this was the father breaking my friend's femininity; as an adult, there have been a lot of medical problems (Mercury-Saturn-Chiron), but also she worked as a health professional for many years, taking that wounding and putting it to good use.
Saturn is not called the inner critic for nothing, and he squares Jupiter in Gemini. Saturn is bolstered by a stellium, while Jupiter stands alone and weak. Self-doubt has a tendency to destroy X's confidence. More simply Saturn disses Jupiter here.
And my friend holds her own masculine energy really close – Mars conjuncts the powerful, optimistic Aries Sun. Her anger is liable to turn inward and manifest physically – and she has quite a lot to be angry about. Mars is debilitated in Taurus, again this can literally mean a physical disability sometimes, although often it simply means an ability to truly make stuff – pots, cloth, painting. It's a handy, artistic placement, and again this is true of my friend. She can fix things.
Mars is so close to the Sun that it's combust, another traditional term. It means the Sun swallows the energy of the Mars. The Sun is actually applying to Mars, which makes this stronger. And in Aries the Sun is strong. It means the physical energy has trouble manifesting – and Mars is rising (on the ascendant) which makes it even more likely to be physical. You might expect Mars Rising in the chart of an athlete, and in fact the Gauquelin's did find this to be true. They found statistically, more athletes had Mars in the 12th or 9th houses than you'd expect.
But in fact X has become very disabled and even more when Jupiter passed over Saturn-Chiron. She suffers from a syndrome called chronic (Saturn) pain (Chiron). Part of her healing process has been to write (back to the Jupiter in Gemini) about Saturn and about the pain.
In this chart, Jupiter's closest aspect is a sextile to the 12th house Sun. Despite everything, my friend is lucky. She is blessed in particular with unusual talent and a certain amount of solvency, despite being completely broke. There is a constant tension in her life between optimism (Jupiter) and pessimism (Saturn), but out of this tension comes great creativity. I've learned that the tensest aspects often give the greatest gifts, especially the square.
And look how the hidden 12th house Sun in Aries – just bursting to get out and experience the world – is caught on the midpoint between Jupiter and Saturn.
I could go on about this exceptionally interesting chart, but I want to get to the nub of the question, why does X experience Jupiter transits as "bad"?
You can see that Jupiter has spent the last couple of years opening up the whole of her chart from Venus in Pisces down to the ascendant, like a tin opener around the edge of can. With a chart as tough as this, that is going to be hard work. Every single aspect of her self has been hauled out of the nice dark closet where much of her was kept, picked up, exposed and examined. And this happens to her on a 12-year cycle, so that's about three years of Jupiter in the 11th, 12th and first and then a bit of a breather before the Jupiter return and, so on and around again.
Now my friend's use of language is really interesting Jupiter is "too mean spirited to even talk to me". She has Jupiter in Gemini, the sign of talking. Jupiter in Gemini loves to talk, thinks in words, needs to communicate. And Mercury in her chart is at 1° Aries with the Moon just escaping from conjunction. She needs words as much as she needs food. Her first action is to speak. The cruellest thing is not to talk.
Interestingly this New Moon has stimulated that very point in her chart – and she spoke to me.
But "mean-spirited"? That's not Jupiter. He's a lot of things, many of them not so good, but mean-spirited –never. I hear a projection. In the spirit of my friend's conversational chart, this is what Jupiter might say to X: "You keep ignoring the gifts I bring: why should I talk to you? When I do talk to you, you can't hear me. Who do you think opened everything out for you in the last few years? It wasn't that Saturn you're so fond of. It was me who guided you to write, who found you a shipmate, who gave you the courage when I linked up with Mars... That was all me.
"But if you expect it all to come wrapped up with a bow, forget about it. I don't do good. I'm a god for god's sake. You expect me to be nice because I get called "benefic" (silly word). I'm generous all right, but I'm generous with everything - mustard, chill and mayonnaise.
"The point is I'm not "good" or "bad", I'm more, I'm extra, I'm magnifying, expanding, growing. It's not me who does not speak; it is you who will not hear."
Jupiter has been muffled by the Saturn square. We can take the gifts of Jupiter for granted, especially when he is difficult in the natal chart, because they come so easily.
|Mary and Elizabeth by Master MS (1506)|
Today, Jupiter is sextiling my friend's Venus, encouraging exactly that blossoming she writes about.
Here is the beginning of the Magnificat, the words that the Virgin Mary spoke when she went to tell her cousin Elizabeth about her pregnancy. She could be talking about a transit of Jupiter.
"My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty,
hath done great things to me;
and holy is his name...."