Jupiter represents the divine, benevolent father. He is like the “Pillar of Mercy” in the Kabbala. In India, he is called Guru, meaning a spiritual teacher who leads us from the darkness of ignorance into the light of wisdom and enlightenment. He is also referred to as Brihaspati, the original priest or Brahmin.
He represents the father in all birth charts as well as the husband in a woman’s chart. As teacher of the Gods and guide of the world, Jupiter represents and directs the light (the galactic center) into our solar system. 1
From a psychological standpoint, Jupiter is the super-ego, the conscience, and the “inner parent.” It is our high aspiration, faith and confidence in self and life, our best intentions. It is the wider, deeper vision of who we really are (which truly brings us good luck).
High hopes, expansiveness and optimism are symbolized by Jupiter. Our philosophy of life, and our philanthropic actions are manifestations of the Jovan impulse.
Perhaps because it is so broad and inclusive in nature, some say Jupiter is the least understood planetary energy. It correlates to the impulse that drives us to open up and include greater dimensions within our being. The amoeba is a good analogy, for this creature flows out and around whatever lies in its path and expands to include it within itself.
Whenever we feel the desire to improve ourselves, to become more than what we are right now, to educate ourselves and become better in some way, we find Jupiter energy is at work in us. There is the urge to join with others in communion and ritual; to be an accepted member of a larger community: a club, school, social class. It is the need to have relationships beyond the ego (but within the ‘norm’), to expand, to be free, but free within the limits of the community, or within consensually approved value systems.
Jupiter lies within Saturn’s orbit; so its freedom is not unbounded. There is no desire to break with tradition (unless aspected by Uranus), nor break social taboos (unless aspected by Pluto); nor does one seek limitless expansion (unless aspected by Neptune). With Jupiter, we want to be free within the system, free with conformity, to be praise worthy in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, to be admired. It is the urge toward being good/better/best. Contrast that to Venus, the other “benefic,” who wants to be “nice and pretty.”
Jupiter is hierarchical. As the “‘best” planet, value judgments are involved along with the need to feel or to be superior. It can represent very conservative attitudes or quite liberal ones, depending on how it is posited in the chart and the nature of the aspects to it. Generally, in water and earth signs, it tends toward the conservative, while in fire and air signs, it is more liberal.
The mentor, the sponsor, the patron, the positive role model – these are the Jovan people in our lives. We have a desire to emulate superior others, for we need to experience self-esteem, to honor and to develop the best in ourselves by expressing those things in which we believe. Jupiter in the chart shows where we feel entitled to good fortune, abundance, and where we expect to excel.
Negatively, Jupiter represents arrogance, waste, excess, ego inflation, the opportunist, the con artist, overweight, greedy, superiority complex, Messiah or God complex. At worst it is hubris; that arrogant, self-inflation which leads one to think he or she is equal to or better than the gods. In the eyes of the Greek gods, hubris was the only sin a human could commit and it was always duly avenged.
The qualities of Jupiter’s sign in our charts tend to become expanded, inflated, may grow larger than the rest of the signs. Earth signs want to see “real” things increase, like lots of money. Air signs want more learning and knowledge, more books, more education. Fire signs need extensive personal liberty and opportunities to be creative, more fun things to do, bigger adventures. Water signs seek powerful and deep emotional freedom of expression, more tragic operas to cry over, more passionate love affairs to grieve about, and a greater erotic and ecstatic relationship with the godhead.
1 THE ASTROLOGY OF THE SEERS by David Frawley
Picture by Christina Balit
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.