Jupiter

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Jupiter with one of its moons, Io

Astronomy

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. The diameter at its equator is 142,984 km,eleven times the size of the Earth. Its average distance from the Sun is 778.4 million km. It takes Jupiter roughly twelve years to make one orbit around the Sun. The maximum daily movement is 15.40 minutes, the average is 5 minutes.

Greek Mythology

Zeus (Jupiter or Jove in Latin) was the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus. He is also known as the "god of thunder" or "father of the gods and humanity". He and his brothers Poseidon (Neptune), god of the sea; and Hades (Pluto), god of the underworld, collectively ruled the universe. Zeus was the son of Rhea and Cronus (Saturn). Cronus achieved world domination by emasculating his father Uranus. Out of fear that the same fate could befall him he devoured his newly-born children. Rhea managed to save Zeus from this fate by giving Cronus a stone wrapped in a blanket in his place. She smuggled the newborn Zeus to Crete where the Nymphs hid and raised him.

On reaching maturity, Zeus set off to free his siblings and overthrow his father. He was aided by the goddess Metis who gave Cronus a potion which made him vomit all his children, together with the stone Rhea had given him. The battle against Cronus, who put up great resistance to losing his power, lasted ten years. When it was over, the younger generation of gods led by Zeus conquered the older one.

Zeus married the goddess Hera (whom the Romans called Juno), who among other things ruled marriage. As was the prerogative of ancient rulers, Zeus took innumerable lovers, both willing and unwilling. For this reason he had innumerable offspring in various Mediterranean ethnic groups who claimed his divine paternity. His marriage with Hera was characterised by continuous quarrels. Hera ruthlessly pursued her husband's lovers and their children. Zeus tried to protect them whenever possible and punished Hera for her callousness.

There were many attempts to overthrow Zeus but he always managed to overcome them. During those times in which he felt secure in his position, he was an unbiased, generous father of the gods who guided events both in heaven and on earth with dignity. The ancients held him in great esteem.

Rulerships

Jupiter rules Sagittarius. It is the traditional ruler of Pisces: Neptune is the modern ruler. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, falls in Capricorn, and is in detriment in Virgo. Jupiter is associated with the liver, one of the largest and most important organs and the largest gland in the body. Because of Jupiter's association with the principle of expansion, it also may be implicated in illnesses of excess and over-indulgence. As befits a sky-god who surveyed the world from Mount Olympus, Jupiter is associated with wisdom and a panoramic perspective on life. From this viewpoint comes an association with philosophy and theology. Jupiter expresses optimism and good luck, leading traditional astrologers to call it the "great benefic."

Fourth century Roman bust of Zeus

Interpretation

Jupiter and Saturn are considered to be the two social planets. Their longer orbital periods indicate longer developmental processes which connect whole groups of people from one or several years (as opposed to the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, which are the more personal planets. Jupiter's orbital period of roughly one year per sign means that all individuals born within this time will have the planet in the same sign of the zodiac.

Like Saturn, Jupiter symbolises powers which go beyond what is necessary for strictly personal development and touch on themes relevant to the wider society. With Jupiter these include justice in the light of a higher social order, morality in the sense of an ethical order, and religion in the sense of divine order. These are qualities which enable the coexistence of different individuals within a community or society.

Jupiter stands for the principle of expansion. Its house position and zodiac sign reveal how and in which area of life an individual will attempt to expand his or her horizons: whether by travelling to distant lands and experiencing foreign cultures; or by observing and pondering themes of a philosophical, ideological or religious nature. The house position of Jupiter indicates the area of life in which an individual strives towards higher ideals, meaning and growth in the broadest sense.

Jupiter is concerned with holistic understanding, as opposed to Mercury with its attention to detail and ability to make connections between various individual factors.

On a material or practical level Jupiter is associated with expansion of the affairs of that house. For example, Jupiter in the 5th house of children might confer a large family; or Jupiter in the 2nd house of money might give wealth. The horoscope is seldom so simple, however, and many factors will affect a given house, so it is important to look at how Jupiter is situated in the horoscope overall.

When natal Jupiter aspects an axis or another planet it emphasises the qualities of expansion and meaning in the horoscope factor involved. With harmonious aspects this process is likely to run smoothly even if there can sometimes be a tendency to be too relaxed and therefore idle. With difficult aspects an individual may become over-extended.

The themes are similar when transiting Jupiter forms an aspect to planets or an axis in the natal chart. However, Jupiter transits should not be overestimated because of their fairly short duration and therefore limited effects, with the possible exception of threefold transits which can occur when Jupiter turns retrograde and direct again.

In classical astrology Jupiter is the planet of great fortune; along with Venus, the bringer of mild good fortune.

See also

Weblinks

Bibliography

  • Stephen Arroyo, 1996. Exploring Jupiter: The Astrological Key to Progress, Prosperity, and Potential, CRCS Publications
  • Marilyn Waram, 1993. The Book of Jupiter, ACS Publications