Are we ready to broaden our horizons, sisters and brothers? Viewpoints are about to be blown open, willy-nilly. We will see both the negative and the positive extremes of Jupiter this month, as it takes over from Mars as the trigger for the Cardinal Cross. Whatever we think about what’s going on in the world, if we let this transit work its magic on us, our perspective will have grown a couple of sizes by the time the summer’s over.
During its year-long tenure in Cancer (native land), Jupiter will be daring us to break through our provincialisms.1 This is about upgrading our outlook to match the intensity of the world moment. During times as chaotic as these, we need the most expansive understanding we can muster.
Jupiter’s job is to supply the framework with which we conceptualize meaning. Its natal placement indicates how the big wide world enters our own little everyday world. Its transits prompt us to consider how we understand — or fail to understand — the reality that comes flooding in.
August begins with the explosive Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square from late July. The day after the New Moon on August 6th, Jupiter moves into exactitude opposing Pluto (exact on 8/7) and squaring Uranus (exact 8/20-21) in the sky.
Synthesis Not Analysis
If Jupiter is prominent in your birth chart2, you are the sort of person who takes in every question by re-framing it in a larger context. What interests you is the big picture: not isolated facts, but the comparing and contrasting of facts to reveals a pattern. Jupiter is less interested in who, what, when and where than in why.
Contrast Jupiter’s function with that of its analytical sibling, Mercury, which makes us curious about ideas for their own sake. What Jupiter wants to know is what’s behind and between those ideas: the principles that connect them.
It is our Jupiter that might prompt us, for example, when listening to the president tell us he’s sending arms into Syria because they’re using chemical weaponry over there, to notice that this reasoning sounds suspiciously similar to the weapons-of-mass-destruction justification given before the invasion of Iraq in ’03.
The Jupiter impulse is to ask, Do we have a pattern here?
This kind of thinking is not encouraged in the wired world, where we’re bombarded with quick, isolated, disparate factoids that become outdated almost as soon as they hit the screen. With social media, the quantity of data we consume is prioritized over its meaning (this essay goes into more detail about how communication is changing.)
But it is Big Picture thinking that we need right now. Without a well-functioning Jupiter to give moral coherence to the information flooding into our minds, life in the Information Age can be an endless cacophony of TMI, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Jupiter’s entry into the Cardinal Cross is asking us to identify the meaning system(s) we already live by, often without realizing it.
Know Thy Jupiter
Most of us think of our Jupiter story as The Truth. But Jupiter is only the premises we’re using, at the moment, to determine Truth. Even if these premises last a lifetime, they are changeable – or they ought to be. They ought to grow as we grow. You may start out life as a Presbyterian and end up a Zen Buddhist. Truth hasn’t changed; your premises have.
Jupiter’s prominence in the sky this month is asking us to consider whether our worldview is up to the job.
Consider how many people in the world — perhaps most of us — follow the lead of our government when judging other countries. A nation and its people are labeled as either good or bad, depending on whether they’re an ally or (as the current American groupthink would have it) a place that harbors terrorists. Many otherwise well-informed Americans employ this value system without thinking; even those who would condemn as simplistic or ridiculous the same dichotomy when used in a religious context (heaven/hell, good/evil).
Viewing the world with this kind of criteria is ludicrously insufficient in our age. Consider that Saudi Arabia, one of Uncle Sam’s closest allies, punished a website founder with 600 lashes in late July for urging his countrymen to share their independent religious opinions online. Consider that Washington’s good ally Australia incarcerates its refugees in detention centers with conditions so atrocious they have been compared to former Soviet labor camps. As for the immigrants therein detained, they’re presumably already suspect, being mostly from Iran and Afghanistan — both on Washington’s “bad country” list.
To rely on rote judgments spoon-fed to us by government propagandists keeps our Jupiter stuck in arrested development. Now is a good time to give it an upgrade.
Are we even aware of what we believe? Don’t be misled by the common equation of the term “belief” with religion. Whether we are religious or not, we all have a belief system (this includes atheists, who may hold quite passionately to their belief that there is no God.)
What role does Jupiter play in your natal chart? A careful reading of its natal placement will elucidate what language(s) of meaning you’ve chosen to make sense of your reality. Is it the language of church dogma? Of the Course in Miracles? Fox News? Twelve-Step principles? Or is it a combination of competing ideologies? In the modern secular world, we’re often driven by a hodge podge of mutually contradictory philosophies, some more conscious than others.
These contradictions can destabilize us from within. For example, we may “let go and let God” in all departments of life… except the financial. Perhaps the conventional ego-driven precepts prevail there, instead, making the financial arena a bald exception to our otherwise unconditional beliefs.
Or maybe we preach universal empathy, very sincerely, in our environmental justice group, but hold ourselves aloof from personal relating, having been conditioned from early childhood to distrust intimacy.
Let’s not kid ourselves that this is about trying to figure out which belief is superior. That won’t resolve this inner dissonance. It just lands us in the classic dualistic struggle of the ego-mind: my political candidate vs. yours; my lifestyle vs. my parents’; Christianity vs. Islam, etc. The right/ wrong spectrum is just as limiting as the good/bad spectrum, and neither is helpful here. In times of crisis, the only thing that matters is how aware we are.
Ideologies come and go. What matters is how genuine and conscious your viewpoint is. It’s not so much what we believe, as how we believe. What does your Jupiter look like when it is alive with consciousness?
1 In recent blogs (e.g. Big Wide World) I address the planet’s role as a global lens. Americans in particular are getting a double-dose of Jupiter this summer, as it transits the Sun cluster in the US chart for the first time in 12 years (see Adventures in Foreign Lands).
2 For example, if it is in a major aspect to your Sun or Moon, or if you have multiple planets and/or the Ascendant in Sagittarius.