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METAPHYSICAL JUPITER

by Gary Brand - written February 10, 2008,
published in the March 2008 edition of Echo* newspaper
A color composite made from images taken by Voyager 2 on
June 28, 1979 and processed to exaggerate colors A color composite made from images taken by Voyager 2 on June 28, 1979 and processed to exaggerate colors.  In the center below the elongated, dark brown oval is Jupiter's Equatorial Zone, characterized by white, wisp-like plumes.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Asteroid Ida and its moon Dactyl share the main asteroid
belt between Mars and Jupiter with thousands of other rocks. Asteroid Ida and its tiny moon Dactyl share the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter with thousands of other rocks.  Yes, even some asteroids have moons - this is the first conclusive evidence that they exist.  This image was taken by the Galileo spacecraft on August 28, 1993 (the day of its closest approach to the asteroid) as it sped its way to Jupiter and how appropriate, since in Greek mythology, the god Jupiter was raised on the slopes of Mount Ida!  Asteroid Ida measures 35 miles long and Dactyl only one mile.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

An enhanced color, composite, global view of Ganymede,
one of Jupiter's moons and the largest moon in our solar
system, taken on March 29, 1998 by the Galileo spacecraft. An enhanced color, composite, global view of Ganymede, one of Jupiter's moons and the largest moon in our solar system.  The composite combines images taken with green and violet filters (making it appear green and purple) on March 29, 1998 by the Galileo spacecraft.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the personification of Jupiter
riding a chariot drawn by two doves and holding an arrow. This is a 1491 woodcut of the personification of Jupiter (Iupiter in Latin) riding a chariot drawn by two birds, probably eagles or falcons.  Zeus (the Greek name for Jupiter) was sometimes depicted with an eagle, which represented his supremacy, his rulership of the sky where the gods dwelt, and his kingship (J.C.C., p. 59 (1988)).  Both the eagle and the falcon symbolize royalty and spiritual aspiration and power.  Jupiter is depicted as holding an arrow in his left hand and is giving his blessing with his right hand.  He is the only personification of a planet in this series of woodcuts seated on a throne.  Sagittarius, the principle sign ruled by Jupiter, is depicted in the front wheel of the chariot by a centaur about to shoot an arrow.  Pisces, the secondary sign ruled by Jupiter, is depicted by two fishes swimming in opposite directions in the back wheel of the chariot.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his article is one of a series about the metaphysical and esoteric meanings of the planets that focuses on the metaphysics of Jupiter.  In Greek and Roman mythology, Jupiter was ruler of Heaven and Earth and the Olympian pantheon after he and his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, defeated and banished their father, Saturn.  However, the Jupiter mythology before he acquired his throne is rich in metaphysical meaning.  Jupiter was the lastborn son of Saturn and shared this fate with his father (Saturn was lastborn son of Uranus).  Throughout most of history and in most cultures, the firstborn son has ascended to the throne or inherited the kingdom, the family business, the family estate, inheritance, etc., and the lastborn son was left little or nothing.  Therefore, the lastborn son had nothing to lose by rebelling against his father and, in fact, had everything (the kingdom) to gain by overthrowing his father.

According to the Greek myth, Saturn (Cronus to the Greeks) devoured each of his children as they were born - out of fear (a Saturn keyword) that, as an oracle had predicted, he would be dethroned by one of his sons or because he had promised his Titan brothers that he would leave no progeny.  Metaphysically, this myth warns us against devouring (squelching) our creations (including our children) or being devoured by our fears, failures, grief, remorse, guilt (all Saturn keywords), etc.  Rhea, Saturn’s wife, was overwhelmed with grief and conspired with her parents, Gaea and Uranus, to hide Jupiter from his father and substitute a huge stone for the newborn, which Saturn immediately swallowed without examination.

Jupiter was raised on the slopes of Mount Ida until he was ready to challenge his father for supremacy.  Jupiter conspired with Metis (wisdom), his first wife, who gave Saturn a drink that caused him to regurgitate all of his children and then Jupiter vanquished his father.  Jupiter was warned by Gaea and Uranus that he would be dethroned by an offspring of Metis so when she was about to give birth to Athene, Jupiter swallowed Metis (he followed in his father’s footsteps, so to speak).  In doing so, he avoided the prophecy and became wisdom himself.

After Jupiter and his older brothers attained their dominions, the Titans – Saturn and his brothers and sisters – began an unsuccessful, ten year war against the Olympians to regain their rulership of the kingdom of Heaven and Earth.  Even some astronomy writers refer to Jupiter as the “king” of the planets because it is physically the largest and, astrologically, Jupiter symbolizes largeness (the planet’s Great Red Spot is the largest hurricane in the solar system), greatness, and abundance (it has two huge swarms of asteroids – the Trojans – sharing its orbit and an abundance of moons, which are named after Jupiter’s many lovers, for he was very amorous and unfaithful).  Our words “jovial” and “joviality” are derived from Jove, an archaic name for the giant planet.

As governor of the sixth sphere and the sixth ring, Jupiter rules the sixth chakra, the “third eye” of the human body, a point symbolizing wisdom, astral travel, divine thought, spiritual vision, and intuition (all Jupiter keywords).  He also rules Thursday by virtue of his governorship of the 1st hour of that day.

The glyph or pictograph of Jupiter is a cross, surmounted with a crescent or semicircle, symbolizing the preeminence of receptivity over the cross of matter and time.  Jupiter rules the signs of Sagittarius and Pisces, both mutable, bicorporial signs (meaning two-bodied) – Sagittarius is represented by the centaur (half horse, half man) and Pisces is the two tethered fishes.  Jupiter rejoices in Sagittarius (which is his principle domicile) because, according to Ptolemy, Jupiter is a diurnal planet so it has a greater affinity with the diurnal sign of Sagittarius than with the nocturnal sign of Pisces (C.P., p. 15 (c. 150 A.D./1976)).  The mutable signs are the most changeable but also the most adaptive and seeking of the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Jupiter’s smallest or shortest planetary period is 12 years (its orbital period) and the timeframe of maturity, from age 57-68 in the human lifespan, is assigned to Jupiter.  Ptolemy said that, during this period, we relinquish labor and "... hazardous employment and tumult [during the preceding age of Mars], and [Jupiter] produces greater gravity [figuratively and literally], foresight, prudence, and sagacity, favoring the claim to honor, respect, and privilege" (Id., p. 139).  There are eleven synods (Sun-Jupiter cycles as viewed from Earth) in Jupiter’s 12 year shortest planetary period and astronomical events of the same nature reoccur in 12 year intervals to form eleven wave series so eleven is the secret number associated with this planet (also, Jupiter’s diameter is 11 times that of Earth’s).

Other recurrence cycles (number of years after which the same astronomical event occurs within a few calendar days or the planet returns to the same degree of the zodiac) are 83 years (an unusually exact cycle) and 427 years, the latter being the "greatest" planetary period for Jupiter.  An example of what the 83-year Jupiter cycle means is that on your 83rd birthday, Jupiter will be exactly (at the same degree and close to the same minute of the zodiac) where it was the day you were born (and in the same angular relationship to the Sun)!  The greatest planetary periods of the seven planets of antiquity were used in determining when to erect a kingdom, city, or town so that it would last for centuries (E.S., p. 110 (1784-1791)).  Cities and empires were typically established when Sun, Venus, Moon, Mercury or Jupiter were the dominant influence, since these are the planets with the longest "greatest" planetary periods (in descending order).

Jupiter takes his joy in the eleventh house because, as Medieval astrologer Bonatti put it, he "... signifies fortune and wealth, and he is naturally the significator of money and profit, and the eleventh house signifies that" (G.B.II, p. 100 (c. 1282/1994)).  This is why the eleventh house is not only the house of wealth but of prosperity and enthusiasm as well (and the Sun is cosignificator of that house).
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Reference Citations.

See related articles Metaphysical Sagittarius and Metaphysical Pisces.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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