The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 319, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Samuel F. Reynolds
Episode originally released on September 13, 2021
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released November 6, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Joining me today is Sam Reynolds, and we’re going to be talking about the meaning and significations of the planet Jupiter in astrology. So hey, Sam. Thanks for joining me.
SAMUEL F. REYNOLDS: Hey, thank you for having me.
CB: Welcome back to the studio. So you’re one of my first guests back in the studio since the pandemic has started to lighten up a little bit. When we first moved into the studio, I think you and Kenneth Miller were my first guests here in Episode 201 or something like that, so I think it’s fitting. You’re back in town to plan an ISAR conference for next year, right?
CB: Okay. How is that going? The conference is going to happen in August of 2022?
SFR: We hope so. Yeah, August 25-29 of 2022.
SFR: And we’re really excited about bringing people back together and celebrating astrology and celebrating that sense of community and connection, so we’re really looking forward to having that. I mean, it probably will be the second astrology conference to convene. There might be another one between NORWAC and then ISAR.
CB: Yeah, that’s going to be amazing seeing everybody. So it’s going to be here in Denver, August of 2022; that’s in one year. I think that’s enough time to prepare. We’ll have some Jupiter in Pisces time in early 2022 to build up to that.
SFR: Yes, exactly right.
SFR: And Jupiter in Pisces seems to be very good in terms of managing COVID at least. I mean, it was interesting to have that auspicious period between May, when it went into Pisces, and then in July, when it went out of Pisces.
SFR: And then immediately, we have all these changes related to COVID mandates.
CB: Yeah, you could feel the difference. It was like the day that Jupiter went into Pisces the CDC issued that announcement saying nobody has to wear masks anymore if they were vaccinated or something.
CB: Yeah, which maybe a little fast or a little too optimistic, but it was a nice summer at least while it lasted.
SFR: Yeah, the two months.
CB: Right. All right, so our focus here is going to be the planet Jupiter today and understanding the significations and meanings, both from an ancient astrological perspective and a modern perspective. The way that we usually structure these episodes is by reading through a selection of ancient and modern authors to get an idea of how astrologers have talked about the planet over the past 2,000 years; and then we can sort of use that to digress and riff on some of those concepts for our own understanding.
I know you’ve done some special work on Jupiter. One of the reasons that I wanted to have you on for this episode is I know you’ve done work on Jupiter, and Jupiter returns in particular.
SFR: That’s correct.
CB: And second, I’ve tried with this series to focus on astrologers who have that planet as the ruler of their Ascendant; so for example, Becca Tarnas for the Venus episode had Taurus rising, Israel Ajose for the Moon episode had Cancer rising, Demetra had Leo rising. Are you comfortable talking about your chart?
SFR: I am.
SFR: Yeah, I talk about it pretty frequently, especially on social media, so I’m fine talking about it. So I’m a Pisces rising, with Jupiter in Virgo opposing the Ascendant.
CB: Nice. Okay, so the ruler of your Ascendant is Jupiter. I often think of you as a Jupiter-type character in some ways. And you actually were a former preacher at one point, right?
SFR: That’s correct.
CB: So I think that will tie in very well and maybe we’ll come back and talk about that a little bit more later about that relevance. Why don’t we start? I wanted to show a graphic that our graphic designer, Paula Belluomini, made for us.
CB: This is the glyph or the symbol for Jupiter up at the top. And then Jupiter’s home signs, or its ‘domiciles’ are ‘Sagittarius’ and ‘Pisces’. And the opposite of that is said to be the sign of the planet’s detriment or what I call its ‘antithesis’, which is ‘Gemini’ and ‘Virgo’, which are the two signs opposite to Sag and Pisces. And finally, Jupiter is ‘exalted’ in ‘Cancer’ and its ‘fall’ or ‘depression’ is in the sign of ‘Capricorn’.
CB: So those are the traditional…
SFR: You’ve gotten away from using ‘exile’?
CB: Yeah, I haven’t been using ‘exile’ because I just like ‘antithesis’. So I switch sometimes between ‘exile’ and ‘antithesis’ just because ‘antithesis’ is a little bit less depressing-sounding if you’re using that in a consultation. Also, in terms of just the practical implications of what it means for a planet to be in its opposite sign, it’s not that it’s terrible. It’s just in a surrounding that is kind of antithetical to its primary impulse or basic meanings, and I think that can give you a little bit more neutral of an insight into how to interpret that.
SFR: You’re right.
CB: Yeah. But ‘exile’ still has a certain ring to it. All right, so how we usually do this is we usually start with the 2nd century astrologer, Vettius Valens, and reading the significations that he gives for Jupiter, which is a nice, little paragraph. I’ll read this one, and then you can take the next one for Abu Ma’shar.
CB: So this is from my translation, from my book, Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune. Valens says: “The star of Jupiter signifies the begetting of children, child-birth, desire, love, alliances, knowledge, friendship with great men, abundance, payments, large gifts, an abundance of profits, justice, authorities, governments, honors, heads of holy places, arbitration of disputes, trusts, inheritances, brotherhood, fellowship, adoption, confirmation of good things, relief from bad things, release from bonds, freedom, entrustments, wealth, stewardship. Of the parts of the body, he is lord of the outer thighs, the feet (for which reason it also produces running in athletic contests). Internally, it is the lord of semen, the womb, the liver, parts on the right side of the body. Of substances, he rules tin. He is of the diurnal sect, grey and mostly white in color, and sweet in taste.” So that is Valens on Jupiter.
So that’s almost 2,000 years ago now. Many of these significations are relatively straightforward and traditional; there’s some that are a little bit different or that have changed in modern times. But what is our fundamental starting point? Our fundamental starting point is probably that Jupiter is the ‘Greater Benefic’, primarily, right?
CB: So there’s the benefic planets, Jupiter and Venus, and there are the malefic planets, Mars and Saturn, and Jupiter is said to be one of, if not the most positive planet from a traditional standpoint.
CB: So it traditionally is given very positive or sometimes very lofty-type significations of all that which is good in the world in some sense.
CB: So in terms of Jupiter and its benefic status, where do you usually start when you’re first teaching students about this planet and what its basic meaning is and what its significations are?
SFR: ‘Grandness’. And not just ‘grandeur’ because that can also have negative connotations. Obviously, many people started thinking about Jupiter related to the common expression, ‘expansion’. But when you think about ‘growth’, I also think about other qualities related to what prompts us to be ‘noble/ennoble’ in terms of the aspiration toward even what becomes greater.
So I think, really, of Jupiter in terms of things related to ‘knowledge’, how we reach and have a capacity for reaching for more. Because I usually use some images when I talk about Jupiter; I show an image of ‘a guru’. I show an image of what looks like ‘a spiraling case’. I think many people have used this image; they look like stained glass and it’s a spiral.
And I think of that when I think of Jupiter as kind of either ‘spiraling up’, there’s ways you can ‘spiral down’, but whatever possesses us to reach for more.
CB: Okay. I liked that you talked about the ‘expansiveness’ of Jupiter. And one of the things that’s notable that wasn’t discovered until modern times is that Jupiter is actually the largest of the planets in the solar system.
SFR: It can actually contain all of the planets in our solar system.
CB: Right. So that’s just crazy, next to the Sun, which is just this gargantuan object compared to everything else. Jupiter is so huge that it actually affects the gravitation of all the other planets in the solar system.
SFR: Yeah. In Arthur C. Clarke’s original book, 2001, it’s really about evolution. And then, I believe his follow-up to that is 2010–thank you.
SFR: I won’t give any big spoilers, but one thing that’s interesting is that somehow Jupiter is set on fire. And I guess it’s a general theory that if Jupiter were set on fire, it would actually burn like a sun; and so when it would be seen at night, there would almost be no night. It’s that big, that powerful.
CB: Okay. And it appears, even just visually from our standpoint, as this bright, twinkling, star in the night sky.
SFR: Yeah, we can see it. Like last night, you could see it and it was really bright.
CB: Yeah. We used a nice, little electional chart today with Sagittarius–sorry, with Aquarius rising here as we’re starting on Saturday, August 21, 2021. We must have started at 6:35 or something like that and with Aquarius rising. And tonight is the night of the Full Moon conjunct Jupiter in late Aquarius.
CB: So a pretty good chart. So ‘size’, ‘growth’, ‘expansion’, ‘that which grows’ and ‘that which develops’. It’s also tied into some fundamental ancient concepts, like in Aristotle, you have ideas of ‘growth’ versus ‘decay’ or ‘coming into being’ versus ‘passing away’. And it seems like the benefics were generally associated with the notion of ‘that which is coming into being’ or ‘that which is growing’, whereas the malefics were sometimes associated with things that are ‘declining’ or that are ‘passing away’. So ideas with Jupiter of ‘growth’ and ‘abundance’ seem like core archetypal principles.
SFR: Yeah. The things with the benefics are things that we want to enjoy, and the malefics are those things that we would rather avoid or don’t want to deal with.
SFR: So for instance, the analogy I commonly give is that you want to have a party, right? So the bounty of Jupiter is having a good amount of food, good amount of drink, all these different things; Venus is also kind of teaming up with the party. But who wants to do the cleanup?
SFR: And then also, even before that, who wants to do the planning, setting things up? Jupiter and Venus certainly don’t, right?
SFR: So Mars and Saturn are probably more instrumental in those particular moments dealing with the party. I mean, especially, my Moon in Leo is thinking about those particular things.
CB: Right. Yeah, that makes sense. So the things that we like, or things that are subjectively enjoyable versus the things that are subjectively not enjoyable. So let’s see: ‘growth’, ‘development’, ‘that which grows’, ‘that which is abundant’, which is opposed to ‘that which is scarce’ or having not enough of something–like ‘being hungry’ versus ‘being full’ or sitting at a banquet or something like that.
CB: So usually it seems like a lot of Jupiter’s significations are coming about as a result of a contrast of what would be the best version of something subjectively or the most enjoyable subjectively versus what would be the least enjoyable scenario, subjectively speaking.
SFR: Correct. Yeah, I would agree.
SFR: Yeah, I think also, too–we’ll probably get into it as we read a little more–some measure of my understanding of Jupiter comes from my studies of Kabbalah, which is in terms of the Western occultic tradition, specifically from Z’ev Shimon ben Halevi, who also was born Warren Kenton, who we just lost last year.
I would say his take on it was looking at chesed. Chesed is more the sense of ‘mercy’. It’s also where we get the idea of the Hasidim in terms of Jews. And so, the quality of ‘mercy’, ‘generosity’, ‘graciousness’, I think those are also Jupiterian traits. And when we say ‘mercy’, it’s kind of where you receive a sense of grace, a moment of grace, generosity, either from the Cosmos or from another person.
CB: Right, because generosity comes out of a spirit of goodwill and good doing. Which is interesting because that’s actually almost a direct translation of the original Greek word for ‘benefic’, which means ‘good-doer’. It’s like someone who goes about doing good things. And that’s opposite to a more Saturn principle, which can sometimes be like ‘stinginess’ or ‘wanting to withhold’ and wanting to have a closed hand about something, like, let’s say, financial things versus Jupiter’s impulse to ‘spend’ and to just ‘give freely’.
SFR: Yeah, I agree.
CB: So that can lead to things like ‘generosity’, ‘donations’, and other types of good-doing.
SFR: Yeah. And that goes into something I guess we’ll definitely get into when I start talking about Jupiter returns. I think of Jupiter as ‘match-funder’. He’ll match you where you are. The idea of a match-funder is someone who will match what has been received by a particular organization or a company. So if you raised a million dollars, that match-funder will raise another million dollars or give you another million dollars as an example, so that way you’ll have two million dollars.
So he’ll match you where you are, which has positive connotations mostly. Who wouldn’t want an extra million dollars if Jupiter is going to meet you there? But let’s say you’ve not done anything, or you’re not willing to do the work? It’ll match you with, “Okay, then I’m not going to do nothing.”
CB: Yeah, I like that.
SFR: And we’ll get more into that. I’ve looked at Jupiter returns because that was the eye-opening planet for me, and one of the things I want to say probably first off as we get deeper into Jupiter. It’s been fascinating to track my career since 2008 when I started–well, maybe it was even 2009–looking at Jupiter returns. And you didn’t know this, but it’s even coming full-circle. My first presentation at an ISAR conference was on a Jupiter return.
CB: Oh, really?
CB: That’s funny. What year was that?
SFR: It was 2009 in Chicago.
SFR: Yeah, Oak Brook, Illinois, specifically. And I’ll get more into that because I know we’ll probably venture into that. But after looking at, initially, just scores of Jupiter returns–I would just say now it’s hundreds if not going more towards thousands of Jupiter returns of various people–I got more into looking at and observing Jupiter as more of this ‘match-funder’.
One of the things I kind of challenge and poke at when I get on Twitter is that a lot of people talk about Jupiter, even as the benefic, it’s always going to be good luck; the Jupiter return is going to bring good luck.
SFR: And that’s not been my experience. I’m not saying he brings bad luck, but I think there’s a more nuanced way we can understand how Jupiter works. And what’s fascinating for me, Jupiter is not and wasn’t my favorite planet, even though he’s my ruler. Maybe I shouldn’t say that aloud.
CB: Right. Like a thunderbolt…
SFR: “You don’t love me?!”
SFR: But I think that’s also part of my growth with Jupiter too, especially with my ruler opposing my Ascendant. It becomes this dynamic, this challenge by which to grow in my understanding of Jupiter.
CB: Can I show your chart?
SFR: Sure, that’s fine.
CB: Because we’re talking about it. Let me see if I have it.
SFR: You should have it.
CB: Would you be offended if I didn’t?
SFR: Yeah, kind of.
CB: I think that would be okay. I think, as friends, if I didn’t have your chart that would be an okay thing.
SFR: Because I have yours. I don’t know what’s going on.
CB: Yeah, exactly. Here it is, okay. So for those listening to the audio version, we’re looking at a chart now that has 6 Pisces rising, and Jupiter is at 4 Virgo. So that’s in the 7th whole sign house. I think we established that you use whole sign houses.
SFR: Especially for natal charts. But for rectification purposes or elections, I might use a quadrant-based system.
CB: Okay. Let’s see, other placements. Your Sun is at 29.45 Scorpio. There’s been discussions and debates about cusps, which you are a primary person that can get into that because you have a ‘cusp-y’ Sun between Scorpio and Sag. Your Midheaven is at 17 Sag, Mars at 23 Capricorn in the 11th whole sign house. Neptune at 24 Scorpio conjunct the Sun. Mercury at 11 Scorpio. Venus at 13 Libra in the 8th. And the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s at 22 Virgo and 28 Virgo in the 7th house. And then, finally, the Moon at 2 Leo and Saturn at 5 Aries.
SFR: And I guess we also have opposing Moons, don’t we? Isn’t your Moon almost directly opposing my Moon?
CB: It’s a little later in Aquarius, but yeah, it is the opposite sign. We share that Scorpio Sun/Scorpio Mercury combination, and also that Mars Capricorn.
SFR: Mars Capricorn, yeah.
CB: Yeah, I like that. Awesome. So going back to it, I mean, Jupiter does have this reputation for being a lucky planet though. And sometimes it’s like when you do have a good Jupiter transit, there can be just a sudden windfall or luck. It’s not that that thing is completely untrue, but there are instances of that. If you’re looking for one of those transits that might indicate that, a Jupiter transit could be it.
SFR: Yeah, but I tend to favor Seneca’s, or at least a paraphrase of Seneca’s definition of luck, which is ‘preparation meeting opportunity’, right?
SFR: And so, what I think Jupiter really augers more often than not is opportunity. And so, if you’re prepared to meet the opportunity then it can translate as a windfall.
CB: I like that, ‘good opportunities’. That’s a great signification of Jupiter. A discussion in Valens, he’s talking about “freedom” and being “release[d] from bonds,” or ‘released from chains’, which I think has really interesting notions of freedom. And that kind of comes through very strongly in one of the signs ruled by Jupiter–which is Sag–of notions of freedom and that being a very core component for them.
SFR: Yeah. You know, when we get to Ebertin, one of the things I love too is that Ebertin, when he looks at the combination between Jupiter and Uranus, he actually put it’s the ‘Thank you, Lawd’. He said ‘Lord’, he didn’t say ‘Lawd’, but I just translated it. It’s the ‘Thank you, Lord’ aspect. It’s a sense of freedom from something that has been constraining you. I mean, obviously, the Uranus is more of the sudden effect of it, the sudden release of it. But generally, what Jupiter brings is this sudden sense of release.
CB: Yeah, definitely, like in a house that it’s transiting through. Like going through your 10th house and maybe quitting a job in order to pursue being self-employed or something, and having that sense of freedom of suddenly being your own boss.
SFR: Yeah. And I think the other thing that I’ve observed about Jupiter over the years–looking at hundreds of client charts too–is he broadens your understanding. And some of that understanding might seem quizzical or doesn’t make sense at first. So for instance, many people have the expectation when Jupiter goes through their 2nd house that it becomes an immediate windfall, right? And it’s like, “Oh, I’m going to get money, and then I’ll have a raise,” and that doesn’t frequently–I won’t say never–prove to be the case.
But what I have observed when I grill clients a little more, or even my own observation, it seems correlative to where there’s an understanding or broadening of understanding related to your finances, or how you might think about your investments or working things through. So sometimes, yes, it does translate into actual boons in terms of financial resources. But I think more often than not, Jupiter also brings a certain understanding and then that understanding can be a relief and even a release.
CB: Yeah, I like that. So even though some of its core significations are ‘growth’ and ‘expansion’, it can grow and expand things materially speaking in whatever house it’s going through. Jupiter also has this other side that’s very ‘philosophical’ and very ‘theological’, and sometimes the growth can be more ‘internal’ or almost more ‘spiritual’ in some sense.
CB: Okay. Nice, I like that. One thing that Valens is mentioning here that’s interesting is “alliances” and “friendship” as being a positive thing, and that being the opposite of being enemies with somebody or having a friendship be split apart or broken, or something like that.
SFR: Yeah, friendship is definitely a boon more often than not. But what he might be also drawing on is that Jupiter actually has high favor and has his joy in the 11th house and the house of the ‘good daimon’.
SFR: And so, the 11th house has the signification related to ‘friendship’ and ‘fellowship’ and ‘associates’; so I think it makes sense in terms of being well-met, having friends, experiencing that boon, not just in terms of the general signification of the planet. But then, of course, especially, it was true for Valens and many other Hellenistic astrologers to draw on the significations related to the houses.
CB: Definitely. Yeah, that’s a huge thing. And then the last thing I wanted to mention–before we move on from Valens–I thought was interesting is he puts it right upfront, “the begetting of children” and “childbirth”. And I don’t feel like this is emphasized as much in the later tradition, the associations of Jupiter with ‘children’ or ‘child-bearing’ or ‘the begetting of children’, but I think this might be something that might be coming through the mythology.
Because of course, Valens, in Greek, he actually says, ‘the star of Zeus’. He doesn’t say ‘Jupiter’; that’s our later appropriation of the Roman word. But for the Greco-Roman astrologers, they’re talking about Zeus, and I wonder if that mythology associated with Zeus where he sort of got around a lot, so to speak, wasn’t in the back of some of their minds when they thought about that planet.
SFR: Well, also, I think it’s the classical mindset that was true even up until the 19th century, which is that children were wealth. One of the things that we can appreciate–for those born in the 20th and then going into the 21st century–is that the idea of children being their own person and personhood, that’s still fairly new.
More in terms of how people perceived children, maybe a little above cattle. And that may sound brutal, but it’s also the idea that you had the expectation that children would help not only lengthen your line, but also, even provide tangible support in terms of the managing of businesses, the managing of farms, all these different things. So to have children was to actually have wealth.
CB: Yeah, and the continuation of one’s legacy and family line/lineage as opposed to–let’s say, the opposite of that would be the end of one’s lineage or family line or not having extra people around the house to help with the burden of whatever the family work is or something.
SFR: Yeah, exactly. Because it can bring wealth not just in terms of the labor that children offer, but especially, depending on the culture, measures of dowries and different things associated, and whether you had a daughter or whether you had a son.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so that’s one thing. We’ll have to see if that continues or how long that continues…
SFR: Yeah, that’s interesting
CB: …in some of the later ones. So let’s move on to Abu Ma’shar. This is from Ben’s new translation, Ben Dykes. He just retranslated The Great Introduction to Astrology by Abu Ma’shar from the Arabic. Abu Ma’shar is one of the most famous astrologers from the 9th century. He was a religious scholar who got in an argument later in life with the famous philosopher/astrologer al-Kindi, and al-Kindi somehow got Abu Ma’shar to look into astrology; like baited him into it, which sounds like a very Jupiterian-type…
SFR: And it was at his Jupiter return.
CB: Oh, was it?
SFR: I think it was at his fourth Jupiter return. But yeah, I’m pretty sure I read that it was during his Jupiter return, and I never forgot that.
CB: Okay. So he was a former religious scholar. And you can see this come through sometimes with his writing because he’s famously very verbose; his books are very long and very wordy. So he actually has a very long excerpt here on the significations of Jupiter. Here’s the cover of Ben’s new translation of…
SFR: That’s a pretty book.
CB: …The Great Introduction. Nice cover from the Arabic. Do you want to read part of this? We can switch off. It’s up to you.
SFR: If I get tired, then I’ll pass it on to you
CB: Okay, I’m going to adjust this.
SFR: All right. Can I move it? Okay, here we go. “As for Jupiter, his nature is heating, wet, airy, temperate. [H]e indicates the soul which nourishes life, animal bodies, children, the children of children, embryos, scholars, legal experts, making judgements between people, acting justly, verification, understanding, sages, the interpretation of dreams, sincerity, truth, religion, worship, modesty, piety, reverence, being god-fearing, unification, insight into religion, uprightness, endurance, and [such a man] will be praised and have a good reputation.” And he indicates suffering [footnote: endurance and tolerance], zeal, and sometimes recklessness and haste will befall him and endangering himself after [his] being unhurried in the endurance.”
“And he indicates prosperity, success, defeat for all who resist him, dignity, leadership, authority, kings, the nobles and the mighty, the greatness of [one’s] good luck, comfort and delight, a desire for assets and collecting them as well as exploiting them for profit, riches and the goodness of [one’s] condition in luxury and wealth, and his spirit will be lucky in every matter, and [his] character good, [and it indicates] charitable giving, generosity, granting, being open-handed (as well as boasting [about it]), being unrestrained [in his] soul, sincerity of affection, a love of leadership over the people of cities, and a love of those having importance as well as great people, and an inclination towards them, and assisting the people in things.”
“And he indicates the love of building, and magnificent dwellings filled with people, insight into things, fidelity in [one’s] commitments, fulfilling what one is entrusted with, being indulgent, fun, jokes, beauty, adornment, coquettishness, joy, laughter an abundance of speech, eloquence of the tongue; everyone who meets with him will delight in him, and he indicates an abundance of sexual intercourse, love of the good and a hatred of evil, making peace between people, commanding what is beneficial and forbidding what is detestable.”
SFR: Sounds like a good guy.
CB: Yeah, it sounds pretty good. I mean, it’s all of the good things in life. And that’s a very common thing with traditional texts, especially when they’re talking about benefics and malefics, is they’ll tend to emphasize all of the best parts of the benefics, and they’ll tend to emphasize all the worst parts of the malefics.
CB: So there’s not a lot of downsides here. But I think once we get to our next author, William Lilly, for example, he will start talking about when Jupiter is not as well-placed, these are some of the downsides. So right now, though, we’re still primarily talking about what are the good things about this planet.
So we do see some continuity with Valens. It is interesting, again, right at the top, he mentions “children”, “children of children”, but he also mentions “scholars”, “legal experts”, “making judgements between people”, “acting justly”, “understanding”, “sages”, “truth”, “religion”, “worship”. And of course, for Abu Ma’shar, somebody living in the Islamic world in the 9th century, and who was a religious scholar, some of those things are very much intertwined in terms of religious and legal scholarship and things like that.
SFR: Yeah. I mean, I definitely can relate to some of that from my own personal story, which you indicated a little bit earlier. On Twitter, even just this week–this week has been long to me–I was talking about how I actually got into astrology, and I was talking about how it was kind of the shut up of a Gemini who thought I was Scorpio.
CB: Oh, right, you were a skeptic. I forgot about that.
SFR: I was a skeptic.
SFR: So I thought if I had to choose between being the arachnid and being the centaur, I was like clearly I’m a centaur; I’m a Sagittarius.
CB: Right. So there’s a debate because of your Sun whether you’re a Scorpio or Sag.
SFR: Yeah, 29.45 in terms of that whole particular thing.
SFR: And how it relates to this, many of the key episodes in my life, you mentioned I was a minister; but I also was a professor. I had taught at a university: Temple and also Community College of Philadelphia, and I guess at least one other college or vying for that. And so, it seemed that dealing with the idea of scholarship, being involved in religion and having an inclination towards those things seemed to match more the idea of the Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius.
What’s interesting though–and I tell students this is why it’s important to look at the chart rather than just go with what I call ‘signology’ where you just kind of read based on memes and different things and understandings of signs–I have Sun-Jupiter square; I have Jupiter as the ruler of my Ascendant opposing my Ascendant, and then I have a Sagittarius Midheaven.
SFR: So all these things kind of contribute in terms of testifying to my life experience and what I see related to Abu Ma’shar and what he talks about.
CB: Yeah, as well as an almost stellium in the 9th house, with Mercury, Neptune, and Sun.
SFR: You know, three planets, it depends on how you want to define stellium. But sure, I would say that.
CB: Are you a ‘four-planet’ stellium person?
SFR: I am not.
CB: Okay, you’re a ‘three-planet’ person.
SFR: I am ‘three-planet’.
CB: Got it, okay.
SFR: Yeah, I think three is enough.
CB: Yeah, three is a crowd.
SFR: But I would say, yeah. And I forgot to mention the 9th house Sun. So I think there’s a couple of different ways you can look at it. But yeah, when Abu Ma’shar goes into that, also, it’s interesting in terms of Ben’s translation. There’s one particular word that I wonder–and I don’t know because I haven’t seen the original Arabic. There’s a word that’s used from my studies of the Quran called sabr; and sabr means ‘perseverance and patience’ or ‘patience through perseverance’. And so, that also goes along with the grace and graciousness that one can receive, ideally, in the Muslim sense, from Allah; but in a general sense, regardless of your religious background or spiritual background, Jupiter also signifies something Abu Ma’shar really highlights.
And one thing that’s also interesting that I think people should take careful note of, in the modern sense, Venus has become related to the idea of ‘wealth’ and ‘money’ mainly through some aspects of the astrological alphabet kind of relating Venus to the 2nd house, which relates also to Taurus. But classically, it was Jupiter.
SFR: Jupiter was really the measure by how we talked about people having money.
CB: Yeah, the wealth and abundance, and especially, the ‘material abundance’ planet.
CB: And I like he’s talking about “scholars”, “scholarship”, but also, “religious scholars”, “heads of holy places”. But one of the things is just ideas of not just ‘contemplation’ and ‘philosophy’, but also, people who are ‘highly educated’ and people who have ‘deep wisdom or knowledge’ about a topic and are very knowledgeable. And that goes back to you using the term ‘the guru’, or the idea of a ‘spiritual advisor’ who is very well-educated and very knowledgeable about higher matters, or matters that are deeper or more metaphysical in some sense.
SFR: Yeah. I have this graph I made where I kind of divide the Sun and Moon, and then I talk about the Sun related to the idea of aspiration and then the Moon related to embodiment. And correlative to that I think of Jupiter as related to both, but Jupiter definitely encompasses this sense of ‘aspiration’ in terms of how we want to better, how we want to improve, how we want to evolve and grow.
I mentioned Arthur C. Clarke who was a Sagittarius, who made a famous joke about being a Sagittarius: “I don’t believe in astrology, but I’m a Sagittarius.”
SFR: It’s that same kind of sensibility.
CB: He said something like, “Sagittarius’ are famously skeptical” or something like that.
SFR: Yeah, so there’s this same sensibility talking about even his most notable book, 2001. Because when you look at the movie–I don’t know if you’ve seen it, with Stanley Kubrick–it goes from a bone to outer space. Wait–what? But I read the book and it made more sense in terms of this process of evolution and aspiration.
So Jupiter is kind of what pulls the best out of us in terms of how we might envision, whether that’s through a philosophical shift or a mindset shift, or even more so where we kind of step more into our sense of abundance by embracing what we have and being willing to share even what we have.
CB: Right. I like that. And some of the keywords you’re using make me think of things that are far-seeing or having visions set on the horizon, somewhere in the future. And especially with some of Jupiter’s signs, like especially Sagittarius, there’s this sense of ‘seeking’, or ‘searching for something and always looking to the horizon’ in some sense, and that’s probably a property that’s coming from Jupiter. I mean, we get some of that in Pisces as well, but it sometimes ends up going into more metaphysical or in an almost spiritual or intangible sense.
SFR: Yeah. And I think that can have a tangible correlation, but I think it depends more on getting a sense of vision. So on my drive over here, I had a Lyft driver. I guess you had a mayor named Peña who had the vision to have the international airport that you have now and people fought him about that. He had this vision that it would bring business and put Denver more on the map, but people were really kind of resistant to that. But it turns out he was absolutely correct in terms of what has happened to Denver. It was ‘a fly-over city, cow town’, to quote him. And so, that’s Jupiter in some sense, having this sense of vision.
SFR: What’s unique about Jupiter related to the myth that’s not discussed with Abu Ma’shar, Jupiter, in terms of usurping Kronos, one of the key things he did that Kronos did not do, Saturn, was he created the first bureaucracy in terms of employing and having his children, and then also his siblings, in managing things related to celestial–I wouldn’t just say human, but cosmic affairs. And I think that’s also the sense of Jupiter, of where we make space for everyone to make their contribution and have that aspect of growth.
CB: Right, that makes sense. Something you were saying is making me think of some Sagittarius rising people I know and this overwhelming sense and hope for the future and that things can and will get better in the future, and that sometimes that core sense of optimism or exuberance can itself push them to do things that they might not have done otherwise.
It sort of makes me think sometimes of The Secret. And The Secret and the Law of Attraction and stuff, I don’t think that works for everybody, but I think sometimes there’s people that have a strong, Jupiterian influence in their chart that are able to pull off some version of that. Just through sheer optimism and a sense of abundance and things like that they’re able to push through and achieve certain things that are maybe not achievable by everybody. But it’s almost just due to that overwhelming sense that they can do that, or some internal sense that they–I don’t want to say ‘deserve it’–but that they’re hopes can be manifested in some way.
SFR: I think hope is a good starting point, but it’s not a strategy.
SFR: When hope becomes a strategy, then I think it’s kind of a ‘goofy’ optimism. It can be where it’s a ‘mal-placed’ or ‘ill-placed sense of trust’ rather than thinking through things where you might need a little more Saturn.
SFR: But having the sense of hope and even wanting to improve, having aspiration, really wanting to think that you can be bigger and more than you are–I think that’s a very important thing to cultivate throughout your whole life.
CB: Yeah. It’s making me think of–Leisa and I did an episode earlier this month where we re-watched a bunch of astrology movies, and one of the ones we re-watched was Return of the Magi by Kelly Lee Phipps. He passed away, but he was a Sag rising, with Jupiter in Sagittarius. And that entire project was just very much Jupiter in Sag and this overwhelming sense of having a vision for something and doing it.
And there wasn’t a lot of Saturn, because you could see him learning as he went, but that whole notion of hope and optimism just pushed him through. And while, if he had had more Saturn, maybe the project could have come out a little bit better than it did in terms of being planned out more in advance and not having some of the downsides that it ended up having in the final product, there was still something impressive about just the sheer exuberance and optimism that he had in pulling this off to create a documentary about astrology.
SFR: Correct. Yeah, I agree, because then the counterpoint is where people rely too much on Saturn.
CB: Right. And Saturn says ‘no’ to things, whereas Jupiter says ‘yes’.
SFR: Yeah, I think you have to strike the balance point between possibility and probability. Possibility is more the influx of Jupiter, thinking about what is possible; and Saturn gets much more into probability. This is where, as an idea, even though he’s not a Jupiterian, per se, we can think about Barack Obama. We can go along the level of he saw a possibility in terms of being President and didn’t pay as much attention to the probability, but then he defied the probability.
CB: Yeah. And he’s an Aquarius rising, with Jupiter in the 1st house.
SFR: Oh, that’s right. That’s true, yeah.
CB: That’s a really good one because his initial campaign slogan was “Yes, we can,” as well as that iconic campaign poster that just said “Hope” below it. Those are both very Jupiterian, very Jupiter in Aquarius-type of sentiments.
SFR: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, he’s had a Jupiter return this year, so here we go.
CB: Okay. Yeah, the Jupiter return, he finished that. That second Saturn return was pretty rough on him. It was Trump’s entire presidency of Saturn returning and going through Obama’s 12th house.
SFR: 12th house.
CB: Yeah, 12th house of enemies versus the 11th house associated with Jupiter of ‘friends’ and ‘alliances’. All right, so why don’t we move on through the passages to our next author. We’re going to skip several centuries to our last traditional author, to the 17th century astrologer William Lilly who wrote the first major English language textbook on astrology in 1647.
So I’ll do part of this one; he breaks it up into sections. So he says the ‘Nature’ of Jupiter is: “Masculine, diurnal, hot and moist, airy, sanguine; the Greater Fortune, author of temperance, modesty, sobriety, [and] justice.” The ‘People’ who are signified are: “Judges, senators, councillors, ecclesiastical men, bishops, priests, ministers, cardinals, chancellors, doctors of the civil law, young scholars and students in a university or college, lawyers, clothiers, woollen-drapers.”
‘Manners when well dignified’ [so when Jupiter is well-situated in a chart], Lilly says that it indicates those who are: “Magnanimous, faithful, bashful, aspiring in an honourable way at high matters, in all actions a lover of fair dealing, desiring to benefit all men, doing glorious things, honourable and religious, of sweet and affable conversation, wonderfully indulgent to his wife and children, reverencing aged men, a great reliever of the poor, full of charity and godliness, liberal, hating all sordid actions, just, wise, prudent, thankful, virtuous: so that when you find Jupiter the significator of any man in a question [in a horary chart], or [the] lord of his Ascendant in a nativity, and well dignified, you may judge him qualified as above said.”
Then Lilly goes on, and he says, however, ‘Manners’ when Jupiter is poorly-placed: “When Jupiter is unfortunate, then he wastes his patrimony, suffers every one to cozen him, is hypocritically religious, tenacious, and stiff in maintaining false tenets in religion; he is ignorant, careless, nothing delightful in the love of his friends; of a gross, dull capacity, schismatical, abasing himself in all companies, crouching and stooping where no necessity is.”
SFR: Damn, Lilly.
CB: Yeah, he is not pulling any punches. So I don’t understand some of these because it’s 17th century English.
CB: One of the things that I think is really interesting is he talked about them being “hypocritically religious” or “stiff in maintaining false tenets in religion”. So if Jupiter is the ‘religious’ planet, or at its highest manifestation is the ‘religious scholar’, Jupiter in a not-good condition could be the ‘religious fundamentalist’ or the person who is focusing or using religion in a bad way, like a ‘religious cult leader’ or something like that.
SFR: Or someone who is ‘not sincere in their pursuit of religion’.
SFR: Someone who takes on the trappings of being pious, but isn’t, more so just to be honored. It’s a hollow point in terms of embracing the dimensions of religion. As someone with my Jupiter in Virgo and angular, in some of this I can understand his logic, even though, number one, I don’t agree with it completely. But I think there is, believe it or not, a certain wisdom to his logic here.
Just to give you an illustration, as you mentioned earlier, I came to astrology as a skeptic, and astrology came in my life when I had definitely lost faith in the Church, having been a minister. And what I can say related to how Lilly has spelled out things, I’ve been in a dynamic Jupiter in Pisces or Jupiter in Pisces. There’s a way in which Jupiter in its detriment–and I think this is somewhat true for Jupiter in Gemini, also Jupiter in Virgo–there’s a particular scripture that comes to mind that comes from Genesis that might even illustrate what he’s saying here.
The snake in the Garden of Eden says to Eve, “Yea, hath God said,” which is more so, ‘Yeah, God said this, but is it this?’ There’s a way in which you want to get into the nuances of interpretation, like, is this true? So what I have found is that some measure of my pursued relationship with Jupiter related to even some of these themes that Lilly talks about–is that true? How do you know it’s true?
SFR: Now I think the folly is that if you just stayed on the level of just questioning or not being sincerely invested or interested, then it can become hypocritical or just kind of superficial and not really finding more of the depth in it. But if you are willing to ‘open your heart’–some of the things that are related to Jupiter, as well as going toward ‘an open mind’–I think then that detriment can learn a much more honest and maybe even in-depth way in which to appropriate Jupiterian themes.
CB: Right. I like that you use the word ‘truth’, and that’s a good Jupiter signification. A core signification is ‘truth’, and people with a prominent Jupiter seem to be those who ‘search for the truth’ in all manners of beings, but sometimes end up focusing on one particular area where they try to find and achieve truth.
And then it’s interesting that that leads to some of the other side significations like “judges” who are literally people who decide what’s true and what’s not and apply the law, ideally at least, in a just way.
SFR: Right. And then going along with what you said or intimated initially, I also was a zealot.
SFR: I was one of those people you would have hated probably in high school who’s like, “Do you know Jesus is your personal savior and lord?” That was kind of my thing; I’d pass out tracts. So there’s that particular person who becomes so beholden to a certain sense of truth. Maybe that’s “stiff in maintaining false tenets in religion” where you become so beholden to a certain rigid sensibility of it that you’ve lost the ‘spirit of the law’ and it’s just more the ‘letter of the law’.
CB: There’s an Italian saying another astrologer, Margherita Fiorello, told me once; it’s the ‘passion of the convert’. There’s nobody that’s more passionate than the person that’s just recently converted to some new religion. Because somebody who grew up in it or has been around it for a long time, it’s sort of like they’ve maybe had time to mellow out a little bit and see some of the positive sides and some of the negative sides. But the recent convert, the new convert is somebody who is just dead-set on spreading that this is the truth and that everybody should take part in that, and everyone should know the truth and wants to share that with everyone.
SFR: Correct. And when we study more some of the classical astrologers and thinkers and how they thought about things–Lilly is definitely among that–there’s definitely a way in which they may frame things in very rigid, very key terms. So if you have your Jupiter in Gemini or Virgo, and you go like, “Wait, am I all these things?” and you internalize that, you go like, “Well, I’m schismastical and abasing myself in all companies.” And I still don’t know what he means by “crouching and stooping where no necessity is”.
CB: Yeah, I’m not sure what that means either. I mean, he does say when unfortunate. So let’s say it’s not just the sign placement, but also, sect.
CB: Jupiter is going to be more benefic in a day chart, and it’s going to be a little bit more restrained in its beneficence in a night chart.
SFR: Or in the house it’s in, if it’s in the 6th house or 8th.
CB: Yeah, if it’s in the 6th or 8th or 12th, that’s going to be a more challenging position for Jupiter potentially…
SFR: That’s fair.
CB: …versus one of the ‘good’ houses, like the 11th. Or the 5th, or even in terms of what really would be considered fortunate or unfortunate, is it ‘bonified’ or ‘maltreated’ by other benefics or malefics? Does it have a hard opposition from Mars in a day chart or Saturn in a night chart, for example? Which could indicate a more challenging Jupiter placement versus does it have a nice trine from Venus in a night chart or something like that.
SFR: Yeah, that’s fair.
CB: Okay, so this is Lilly. Why don’t we keep moving forward?
SFR: Go nearly a hundred years into the future from that time?
CB: We’re going to jump forward from 1647 to 1940 and the German author Reinhold Ebertin who wrote The Combination of Stellar Influences, which is very short and concise, but it ended up being very influential on later English authors like Rob Hand and Richard Tarnas and others; so I thought he’d be a good source.
SFR: And a whole school of astrology, I mean, in terms of the Cosmobiological School, or Uranian, or now–what is it called? Symmetrical Astrology.
SFR: All right, so ‘Principle’: “Harmony, law, religion.” ‘Psychological Correspondence’: “The urge to expand or extend, enlargement, ownership or possession, satisfaction, harmony, justice, constructive inclinations, optimism, a social sense, moral and religious aspirations, the faculty to survey the whole.” “Disharmony, injustice, quarrelsomeness, anti-social conduct, amoral behavior, immorality, the craving for pleasure, greed, a materialistic attitude towards life.”
CB: So those are the negatives.
SFR: Those are the negatives, yes.
CB: Split into positive and negative, okay.
SFR: ‘Biological Correspondence’: “The organ, the blood. The functions of nutrition, corpulence. The liver, the gall. The climacteric years.” ‘Social Correspondence’: “Officials, civil servants, judiciary, ecclesiastical and bank representatives. Wealthy persons, people of religious and moral character and standing. Fortune-hunters.”
CB: Nice. Okay, so one of the things he mentions right at the beginning, again, just reiterated–even though we’re in modern times, there’s obviously a lot of carryover here–he mentions “law”. I wanted to touch on that for a second because I think that’s really interesting when you think about it more deeply because oftentimes, these days, when we think about law, we think about something that’s kind of oppressive or that you might get in trouble or something like that.
But when they talk about law, they’re talking about that versus lawlessness. They’re talking about law in the sense of ‘keeping society well-ordered’ and a society where ‘things run well and work out for the best’, so that there’s justice and there’s peace. And then they’re contrasting that with the sack of Rome in the 5th century or something like that and a city being destroyed, and there being complete lawlessness and anarchy, and no justice and no peace or anything like that. I think that’s where they’re going when they talk about Jupiter in the sense of the law.
SFR: Maybe. I mean, I wouldn’t disagree with that, but one thing I think about as the basis for law is philosophy.
SFR: And we see this more in the creation of law. And then whether we’re talking about in terms of legislature or we’re talking about this on the level of–I wouldn’t say more in regular courts, but maybe along the lines of the Supreme Court.
What’s interesting about the law, the law is formulated based on codas and particular laws that have been ratified mainly by legislatures. And then by virtue of how you look at the nuances of the law, then you can talk about precedence.
SFR: And then you look at those different sequences of precedence to make an argument and go before a court that can adjudicate what that might mean, which is what we always are dealing with when we talk about SCOTUS. We go to the Supreme Court.
CB: That’s a really good point, though, because the different Supreme Court justices are often divided about what their philosophy is, and that motivates why they go one way or another oftentimes.
SFR: Correct. So I think one particular nuance of understanding Jupiter is dealing with the particular argument that one is meting out related to interpreting the nuance of something. Which is interesting because one of the things I also talk about with my students is that some measure of a model–and I have many different models of thinking about how you work as an astrologer–is to almost to think sort of like a lawyer because you’re also making an argument. When you’re studying a chart, you’re looking at the testimonies of planets as what presents themselves as a particular argument for this person’s life.
CB: Yeah. I mean, in the Mesopotamian tradition, and some in the Hellenistic tradition, they actually used legal language sometimes in astrology as if the planets were giving testimony about the person’s life and what they know about that person’s fate. And so, there was an interchange between the legal terminology and astrological terminology.
SFR: Yeah, which goes along with the sense of Jupiter kind of dealing with that level of discernment and discretion in terms of ascertaining what is the element of truth. And Ebertin, especially in that book–and I would recommend all these books, people; they might be something that should line your shelves.
But what I like about ‘COSI’–which it’s kind of affectionately called; and I have it, and mine is kind of worn down–is that he really does get into some essential elements of these particular points with some novel innovations. So for instance, just on a tangent briefly, when he talks about the nodes, he was one of the first people who introduced the nodes related to its social component and how it relates to people socially.
And so, going into looking at Jupiter in particular ways, he also talked about urges and functions and planets related to functions and having these particular things. He talks about a ‘social’ sense that really kind of ties in a lot of things that the previous authors that we read talked about more in a broad sense, but he became a lot more economical in his sense of description of it.
CB: Yeah. And two things he also mentions that are very explicitly negative things with Jupiter, one of them he lists on the negative side as a psychological or potentially ‘Psychological Correspondence’ is materialism, or a “materialistic attitude towards life”. And then, also, under ‘Biological Correspondence’, he says “corpulence”. One of the things in modern times that Jupiter becomes associated with is ‘abundance’ and having ‘an abundance of food’ or what have you, but then it can also be ‘excess’ and going too far when it comes to food or drink or something like that.
SFR: Yeah. I always say about Jupiter–kind of going from my own ‘preacher-ly’ background–Jupiter can be more about ‘your excellence’, ‘your commitment to excellence’, or ‘your ‘excess’.
SFR: So that’s kind of more so the sensibility where, especially at Jupiter returns, you might be dealing more with your excesses. And going along with that ‘match-funder’ sensibility, if you are inclined to embrace your excesses, Jupiter will allow you to do it. He’ll be like, “You want to drink yourself to death? Okay, here you go. You want another beer?”
SFR: Going back as an example with Barack Obama, he announced his candidacy at his Jupiter return. He was 47 going towards his Jupiter return.
SFR: And one of the things that comes up about him, especially as he was going towards his fourth Jupiter return, he was kind of dealing with this idea of going towards his excellence; defying odds and being willing to be the President of the United States as a Black American. I think that’s a significant idea of dealing with the Jupiterian impulse to go more towards your excellence.
And one of the things that’s interesting about his campaign versus some of the other campaigns that have come later is that he ran a very disciplined campaign. I mean, that was one of the things; anyone who just studies campaigns regardless of their particular politics will say that he ran a very disciplined campaign. So he really worked with his Jupiter return, especially the fourth Jupiter return, toward that level of excellence. But if you’re not willing to do it, it becomes excess.
Another contrasting example is Rodney King. Rodney King, we talk about him in relation to police violence, which is fair and fine. But Rodney King also was confronted with he was high, and he had a drug problem. And he kept having a drug problem all the way until his 47th year of life when he died, unfortunately, in his own pool, from alcohol and substance abuse.
SFR: He pretty much drowned to death from drinking; maybe he fell in his pool. And similarly, we also had that same experience around her Jupiter return with Whitney Houston.
CB: Oh, right. I was just looking to see if we have a time. I don’t know what the Rodden rating is, but I guess we have a time for Rodney King, possibly. If this is correct, he had Taurus rising.
SFR: That’s what I’ve seen, yeah. And I think it was ‘AA’ or ‘A’.
CB: With Jupiter in Taurus, so it would be in the 1st house. So that would be a good example, as you were saying, in terms of just contrast.
SFR: Yeah, especially dealing with the levels of excess at his 47th year of life.
CB: Okay. So one of your things is looking up those Jupiter returns and what happens when Jupiter gets activated and are they able to exercise the more constructive Jupiter function, or does the downsides of Jupiter run amok or get the best of them.
SFR: Exactly. That’s exactly right. And I still have been working on a certain taxonomy where I think it becomes more important at different Jupiter returns.
SFR: And just to clarify, Jupiter comes back every 11.8-12 years, so it really can happen more so at your 12th year of life roughly–you’re 11-12–your 23rd to 24th year of life, then 35-36, and then 47-48, then 59-60, and so on. I mean, the big thing about the 59-60, the fifth Jupiter return, is that that’s the only return where it falls roughly on the heels or close to the Saturn return.
CB: Right. The second Saturn return.
SFR: Yeah, the second Saturn return. I mean, it is a significant moment. And so, I think every particular Jupiter return kind of correlates in different experiences. Not just different experiences, but different imperatives, I might say, because you’re at different stages of life. So how you might deal with your second Jupiter return is going to be different than how you might be dealing with your third Jupiter return.
Similarly, what happens is that you also around that time–around even your birthday–you will have a Mars return, roughly between 35-36.
SFR: So I think there are these particular points where you have to kind of adjudicate how you’re willing to embrace, again, that commitment to excess or dealing with your commitment to excellence. Arete–the idea of where you’re dealing with your finest gifts–that’s one of the things I’ve come to think about. I don’t know if Ebertin gets into that in terms of talking about it that way, but it’s interesting that he says, “the faculty to survey the whole”.
I often think when we talk about Jupiter, we talk about the ‘graciousness’ and we talk also about the ‘generosity’. But it’s also ‘respecting what you’ve been given and what gifts you have’, and how you’re willing to ‘share those gifts with the society’ that’s made you.
CB: Yeah. Diana Rose Harper and I, a year ago, we talked about the placements of the benefics and where a person has things that are positive, that they sometimes take for granted. That’s one of the issues with people is they sometimes will take for granted the good things and think it’s like that for everybody. And therefore, it can be a blind spot where they don’t realize that that’s an area of their life that goes better than average and that not everybody has the same benefits in that area as that person might, if they have Jupiter in a certain house.
Let’s say they have it in the 11th house and friendship always just comes easy to them or they have lots of friends and that’s never an area of difficulty. Or the 4th house. Let’s say their parents were both there and were relatively positive influences in their life growing up and what have you. Or relationships, the 7th house. Let’s say the person has never had an issue with relationships or that’s really just not an area where they’ve had many difficulties.
CB: And there’s a word and it’s escaping me. We talked about this–just something that a person can take for granted that is a benefit.
SFR: Yeah. So Jupiter returns become a key time to ‘contemplate’, which is a good Jupiterian word, and become aware of where you might be willing to display your gifts. And it gets nuanced. I mean, one of the things I’ll say about Rodney King, Rodney King died maybe a month before his book was scheduled to come out. And what really does kind of stand out about that is that he had been working on his life, he had been working on wanting to share his gifts, but it was also difficult for him to shake his excesses–his ghosts–so that’s kind of also the nature.
And like I said, I’ve been collecting different cases for years. One of my other favorites to talk about is Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey actually was at his fifth Jupiter return, or his fifth Jupter-Saturn return–second Saturn return, but fifth Jupiter return, that kind of dual-return–when the story broke about him and Anthony Rapp.
And why that’s significant in terms of just for a second giving him his props–when I say, “giving him his props,” not just as an actor–what’s significant about what was happening in Kevin Spacey’s life at that time, he had just become President of the United States on his show, House of Cards.
SFR: And why that’s significant, and we tend to forget this, House of Cards was I believe one of the, if not the first show on a streaming service that, one, became very successful, and then introduced us to the idea of essentially–not just streaming–but binge-watching a particular show; so it becomes this leader of a whole new movement in television.
So at the moment where he could have had his ‘crowning’, that graciousness of Jupiter, where he had demonstrated his gifts–he was actually very instrumental in producing and getting that show out–because he hadn’t dealt with his excesses over the last number of years–probably between his second Jupiter return going toward his fifth Jupiter return–it caught up with him. And the net result became rather than the moment that would be about his excellence, it became about his excesses in terms of abusing people.
CB: Because we need not just Jupiter, but we also need Saturn sometimes to balance things out, and sometimes that’s the positive or constructive function of Saturn.
CB: All right, let’s move forward–because I know we’re running out of time–to our next author, who is Steven Forrest and his 1988 book, The Inner Sky. So Steven says the ‘Function’ of Jupiter is: “The maintenance of faith. The development of vitality and confidence. The lifting of spirits.”
It’s ‘Dysfunction’ is: “Overextension, overoptimism, pomposity, pretense, denial of negative realities.” ‘Key Questions’: “What kind of experience will help me feel more faith in myself and in life? Where might I be taking too much for granted?” ‘When Retrograde’: “Deeply rooted inner faith. May produce a very serious exterior. May inhibit emotional openness.”
SFR: And I believe he’s talking about when you have it natally retrograde.
CB: Right. Yeah, so this is interesting because now we are getting more into the positive sides and the negative sides are being stated more clearly, and it’s also being stated much more in a psychological context once we get to the late 20th century, but I like that.
So ‘being confident’, ‘the lifting of spirits’ and having a ‘high vitality’ being positive things, but the downside being ‘an over-extension’, like going too far, too fast when you don’t have a solid foundation; or being ‘overly-optimistic’, or thinking overly-positive and not having a pragmatic enough approach to things. “Pomposity”, that’s a really great Jupiterian term; people that are just too pompous, for example.
And “denial of negative realities”, so there we circle back to I mentioned The Secret, and how sometimes some people can pull that off, like the Law of Attraction, and just thinking positive things into manifestation. But sometimes the downside of that can just be denying and not being willing to see people suffering–or that some people have bad luck, or some people don’t have the benefits or the gifts that you might have–and that’s not necessarily because they’re not being optimistic enough or that it’s their fault in some way or something like that.
SFR: Yeah. You know, you said a mouthful there. I mean, one of the issues I have as an astrologer thinking about the Law of Attraction and The Secret is that…
CB: Is this going to be like an hour-long digression?
SFR: It won’t be.
SFR: I can be very succinct about it. I think one of the issues I have with it is that what I love about astrology is it becomes this discourse on what belongs to you, and that’s even more its classical roots in terms of what is your lot. So it becomes the wisdom of understanding, speaking of Jupiter, what belongs to you, your gifts, the pluses and minuses.
And sometimes the idea of The Secret becomes this idea of I see something, and I can use these particular powers of attraction using the idea of faith to draw it to me. But it doesn’t answer the question, is that yours? Is that something you really want?
SFR: Is that something that belongs to your daimon, to your spirit? Is it in alignment, not just with your chart? Your chart is a statement related to more so the unfurling, the flowering of your soul. So you could be longing to be a peony when you’re a rose, right? And so, “I want to use the power of attraction, the Law of Attraction, to draw this particular thing to me,” not realizing that you may be along your own particular path that’s different than what you’re trying to draw, not evaluating the reasons why you’re trying to draw this particular thing in your life.
SFR: So that’s kind of my digression. But going back to the dimension of faith, what Steven talks about, it’s interesting. It brings me back to my ‘preacher-ly’ days and the Bible where one of the definitions, according to Hebrews 11, is that faith is ‘the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen’. So I think that does relate to and ties in beautifully many of the themes that we’ve talked about with Jupiter.
CB: Right. Yeah, ‘faith’. And ‘trust’ is another Jupiter thing going back to Valens.
SFR: ‘Friendship’ and ‘associates’ and things like that, yes.
CB: Yeah. But you need to have trust in order to be friends with somebody and in order to do certain types of engagements. But also, faith is an interesting thing in terms of what that can allow people to do when they have faith in something. They have a belief that it’s going to work out for the best or work out well for some reason that may not be tangible, but they believe that in some way.
SFR: Yeah, we were just talking about this. I think it was Tara Aal who was quoting Christine Skinner, and we were talking about wealth, which relates to the dimension of faith in this particular sense. Christine Skinner had apparently said at a conference that, “You do have some measure of wealth if you are here at this astrology conference.”
Again, she’s not making the statement, “You have to be wealthy in order to attend an astrology conference,” but I think she was making the better point that you have to appreciate the luxuries you do have.
SFR: Because there are some people who could never dream of having the luxury of being able to go to an astrology conference, or go and take some time off to do something–to pursue something that is more of a leisure for them. So I think that may not necessarily manifest as an astrology conference, but maybe it manifests in your life as being able to have your Saturdays and Sundays off. I think it’s important to appreciate, especially when we’re talking about Jupiter in terms of honoring some of the things that Steven’s talking about here.
CB: Privilege–that was the term I was thinking about earlier. I couldn’t think of it. Diana and I talked about it a lot. But privilege–knowing and identifying your areas of privilege and where you have that. But it’s often something that’s a blind spot because people take it for granted.
SFR: Exactly. And this takes us back to Valens, right? Because that’s one of the things that he really gets into in terms of “honors”, “heads of holy places”, all these particular people. I mean, it was aristocracy, which I think also was continued by Abu Ma’shar in terms of talking about that. But privilege doesn’t just have to be on the level of you’re born to aristocracy.
CB: Right. Yeah, it can come in many different forms, especially depending on what houses your benefics are placed in, for example. Why don’t we do our last one?
SFR: Let’s go.
CB: I’ll let you read this. This is by Richard Tarnas, and his 2006 book, Cosmos and Psyche.
SFR: “The principle of expansion, magnitude, growth, elevation, superiority; the capacity and impulse to enlarge and grow, to ascend and progress, to improve and magnify, to incorporate that which is external, to make greater wholes, to inflate; to experience success, honor, advancement, plenitude, abundance, prodigality, excess, surfeit; the capacity or inclination for magnanimity, optimism, enthusiasm, exuberance, joy, joviality, liberality, breadth of experience, philosophical and cultural aspiration, comprehensiveness and [the] largeness of vision, pride, arrogance, aggrandizement, extravagance; fecundity, fortune, and providence; Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods.”
CB: Yeah. I like that he mentioned, back to back, both “pride” as well as “arrogance”–the interesting, two, little things that he threw in there. You have both the positive sense of having pride in your work or having pride in having done a good job at something–let’s say, in it’s pious or best manifestation–versus the negative side of, let’s say, being arrogant. Thinking that you’re the best when you’re not, or thinking that you’re the best in a negative way that’s like somehow morally not cool.
SFR: Yeah. And this is a caution I think that comes from the ancient mindset related to the benefics, in particular, to Venus and to Jupiter because they can become so bright; especially Jupiter as we’re seeing right now in the night sky. Venus has the honorific as ‘Lucifer’, which becomes correlative in the Bible and related to Satan; that’s how it’s become more the association. So it’s interesting that both these benefics deal with the fault line of arrogance or confusing the light that they borrow as the light that’s just due to them.
CB: Right. So sort of like you confusing having, let’s say, material benefits with indicating that you are a good person, or that you’re somehow…
SFR: You deserve it.
CB: Yeah, or you deserve it, or that you’re superior to somebody else because you have, let’s say, whatever this benefit is in this area of your life, when in fact that’s not necessarily an inherent quality or not necessarily something that you’ve done that you necessarily deserve, per se.
SFR: Yeah. And this is where we get into some measure of the ancient mindset because we’re dealing with the notion of divinity and divinity giving us things, which relates to really the power of grace. Being able to receive something from something that’s larger than yourself rather than it’s just due to you, whether that’s also due to your ‘karma’ or how you’ve dealt with your previous lifetimes, or something that’s due from your family, or like you just mentioned, your inherent ‘goodness’.
CB: Right. And Tarnas is using all sorts of words like, “expansion”, “growth”, “elevation”, “superiority”, “magnify”…
SFR: Some great words.
CB: …“advancement”, “abundance”, “plentitude”, “excess”. So Jupiter really gets associated especially with just this idea of ‘growth’ and ‘expansion’ as its core thing, and that be positive things like ‘material’ abundance or ‘philosophical or spiritual’ abundance. But then it can also lead to negative things potentially of being ‘overextended’ or ‘going too far’ or ‘having too much’ of something. It seems like that really is a recurring core thing that we keep coming back to over and over again.
SFR: Yeah, you lose sight of the grace. Even the real depth of faith is recognizing that there’s something larger than yourself. That’s why I always go back to the sense of aspiration that Jupiter teaches. It’s interesting to be a Sun-Jupiter square, as an example. Because growing up, I definitely will say I had my moments where I was cocky and people would say, “You’re arrogant,” whatever, and on some level, they probably weren’t wrong.
But one of the things I learned as I thought about that and thought about also the notion of what is humility, and what is pride and these particular things, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions that some may disagree with; so I would love to hear that in terms of people’s responses. But one, I don’t think humility announces itself as humble. It’s one of the few virtues that is probably more appropriately bestowed upon you rather than trying to bestow it on yourself.
And then that highlights something because I have talked to different clients about the issue of humility over time, and it’s prompted these questions: How do you become humble? What is the true nature of humility? And what I’ve come to and realize is that the only way you can get to true humbleness is embracing that which is greater than yourself, whatever that may be: whether you think that’s science, whether you think that’s Dionysus, whether you think that’s Hodie or St. Expedite, whoever you think it is, or Allah, something where you knowledge what is greater than yourself that you aspire to.
And I think that puts you and your being in perspective. But when you lose that and you think like, “I’m great,” and beholden to nothing other than yourself, I think that’s where some of these issues related to Jupiter, especially the arrogance, kind of comes in.
CB: Yeah. It also makes me think of a currently famous Sagittarius rising native, Joe Biden, and some of the profoundly negative senses of loss, for example, during his first Saturn return, when his wife and family were involved in a car accident. And his wife died and his daughter died, and his son was severely injured; and then later in life, that other son died as an adult.
But sometimes having a profound sense of loss or suffering can instill a sense of being able to have empathy for other people. And there are some people that never develop that sense of empathy if they’ve never had that experience of pain or suffering, because if you’ve only ever had success or abundance, sometimes it’s easy to have a blind spot surrounding that.
SFR: Sure. And the other thing, the other traits that we could say that President Biden has–faith. I’m not just talking about religious faith–because I can’t evaluate his faith related to being Catholic, and his faith in terms of the tradition–but to become the oldest-installed President I think is a statement related to faith.
And I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t think he was going to become President when he first announced. I was like, “Come on, Joe, go home,” but he had faith and persevered. And I think maybe even from that sense of loss–it wasn’t just privilege or “It’s my time, it’s my turn,”–it was recognizing that he could match that level of aspiration.
CB: Right, or feeling a sense of duty that this needs to be done, or a moral sense of this is what is best for…
SFR: The country.
CB: …the country or whatever. Obviously, people are going to disagree just listening to this in terms of that and different moral positions and whatever his motivations were. Yeah, but it’s interesting, I was just showing his chart. He’s a Sag rising, with Jupiter in Cancer, in the sign of its exaltation, in the 8th whole sign house.
CB: Yeah, there’s a lot there that we could go into, but just what you were saying made me think of that. Sometimes Jupiter can be really positive in indicating success or abundance or growth in a certain area of a person’s life, but then the downside can sometimes be a blind spot if that’s all you ever have is growth and abundance and fortune and good luck in that area, and you’re never hit by the opposite. Which that’s what really humbles people is being brought down low sometimes by an event outside of your control that you can’t do anything about.
SFR: Right. It kind of conditions more of the Saturnian sensibility of ‘endurance’ in terms of having that greater sense of faith.
CB: Yeah. Are there any other natives that you think of, that you commonly cite as ‘good’ Jupiter examples? I just did a search through my files. I’m trying to see if there’s any that are worth pulling up. These are supposed to have either Sag rising or Pisces rising.
SFR: Yeah, I mean, I talk about Bruce Lee’s chart a lot.
CB: Do you? Okay. Let’s see, Eleanor Roosevelt. Hirohito.
SFR: No Satre. Okay, I haven’t looked at his chart as much.
CB: Warren Buffett. Oh, yeah, Warren Buffett’s actually a really funny one that’s similar to Joe Biden’s, where he has Sag rising, Jupiter exalted in Cancer in the 8th house, but it’s inconjunct to Pluto.
SFR: I mean, there’s also Rob Hand who I also like to cite because he also has Jupiter in Cancer. I think Jupiter in Cancer, and Cancer rising, and he’s a Sag.
CB: I don’t know if I have that on here. Let me see if I do.
SFR: You don’t have ‘The Hand’?
CB: Yeah, I should have Rob. There we go. So Rob Hand is Cancer rising, with Jupiter in Cancer in the 1st house, in a night chart.
CB: Got it.
SFR: Yeah, and he’s a Sag Sun, with a Midheaven in Pisces. So there’s some dimension of that, so I think about his chart in relation to that.
CB: He’s very learned, and he will commonly go on funny digressions in his lectures. They’re very long and circuitous, but interesting. He’s like one of the only astrologers that can get away with that because he actually has interesting digressions.
SFR: Well, yeah, the other thing that’s interesting about–if you can magnify his chart, so I can also see it. The thing that’s interesting, what I love about Rob’s chart, I mean, he has a stellium in Sagittarius, so there’s that strong level of influence. He has that Moon trine to his Ascendant. In the Hellenistic tradition, this would be in sect even though it’s below the horizon.
What really is very powerful is–speaking of that Jupiter and its relationship to the Midheaven and living that life–he’s one of the few astrologers that has kind of been into nearly every form of astrology, whether we’re talking about Hellenistic, we’re talking about what we call Symmetrical Astrology now. In terms of programming, he was into psychological astrology. He’s done mundane. I mean, he’s covered the breadth of things, which is very Jupiterian.
CB: Yeah, like a wide breadth of things, and being exposed to different cultures and approaches, and having a general sense of seeing the unity of things rather than seeing the separateness of things.
SFR: Correct. Which is something that I think even Vettius Valens or Abu Ma’shar also talked about in terms of seeing more of the connection between things.
CB: Yeah. All right, I’m trying to see if there’s anybody else that would be good to cite.
SFR: Did you look at Bruce Lee?
CB: Oh, here’s Robert Zoller’s chart. Where is Bruce Lee? Do you see it?
SFR: Yeah, I saw him on your list.
CB: Oh, there he is, Bruce Lee. Okay, so Sag rising.
SFR: Yeah, with the Sun there.
CB: Sun in Sag, but Jupiter is in Taurus in the 6th house, and it’s got that opposition from Mars.
SFR: He’s got that opposition. Yeah, he has that stellium in Scorpio.
SFR: What’s interesting about Bruce Lee’s chart, especially dealing with Mars and the Moon–and Mars being the final dispositor in this chart–is that he has this opposition to Jupiter, so dealing with some measure of his own excesses. I know he’s gone under fire from various kinds of people–including Quentin Taratino, which can go either way, however you want to look at it–but he also had his own excesses.
I mean, he definitely was deemed as someone, even by other other Chinese masters, as arrogant, defiant. But he was also a sifu, he was a teacher; someone who really cultivated the idea of not just seeking but wanting to broaden the horizons. Even just looking at his birth place, one of the things that surprised me as I looked more into his history, he was born in San Francisco, even though he grew up in Hong Kong. And he had very profound, strong allegiance to China and Chinese culture, but he also wanted to bring that to the world. So it’s an interesting combination in terms of even capturing that opposition with his Jupiter, being Jupiter-ruled.
CB: Right. All right, I’m looking through–there’s other ones that we could go through. But ironically, with this episode, this will probably be the shortest of the planetary series because we have to honor Saturn, and we’ve got to get you to a dinner with other conference organizers here that’s starting in about 15 minutes.
CB: Where can people find out more information about your work? You have your primary website, right?
SFR: Yeah. My primary website is UnlockAstrology.com. They can write to me at UnlockAstrology@gmail.com. On Twitter, I am now @UnlockAstrology, right? I used to be @SFReynolds.
SFR: And on Instagram, I’m SF–as in ‘Fred’–Reynolds. And yeah, I would say for people to subscribe to my newsletter because then they’ll get information about upcoming classes. And I will begin classes on Nitty Gritty 1–which are more beginning classes–in October, probably late September of 2021, and then also going toward Nitty Gritty 3, which is more advanced, dealing with horary and electional astrology, around that same time frame. But right now, I’m finishing up with 2, and 3, which are more intermediate than Nitty Gritty 2.
And then I’m honored to be speaking for the Twin Cities NCGR on September 18. And so, they can Google and find the website for that. And then the Virtual NCGR Conference in November.
SFR: So I will be presenting at that with various other notable astrologers, so I’m excited to participate in that as well.
CB: Nice. And then the big one is going to be the ISAR Astrology Conference in August of 2022.
CB: Are you doing NORWAC next year?
SFR: Yeah, I am.
SFR: Yeah, I don’t know what talk I’m doing, but I also will be at NORWAC.
CB: So that means you’ll also be speaking in Seattle, in May of 2022.
SFR: That’s correct.
CB: Excellent. Those are both going to be amazing conferences. I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to seeing people in person.
SFR: Yeah, in person, right? This has been great just to kind of reconnect. I mean, I know that it’s still a touchy time, right, but I think we’ll weather the storm.
CB: Yeah. Well, this has been good. Thanks for coming back and being my first guest back in the studio…
SFR: Thank you for having me.
CB: …since after the pandemic and after the dark times have hopefully started to ease up a little bit. And this has reminded me of what that’s like, so I’m looking forward to returning back to normal. So thanks for doing this.
SFR: Thank you for having me.
CB: Yeah, thanks everybody for watching this episode of The Astrology Podcast, or listening. Thanks for your support to all the patrons, and we’ll see you again next time.
SFR: See you soon.
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