Jupiter is the largest of all the true planets. Its mass is greater than all the rest of the planets combined. Some astronomers even consider it to be a failed star. Astrologically, Jupiter is the planet of expansion, growth and optimism. Known as The Greater Benefic, it symbolizes good luck and fortune. In the ancient Indian language Sanskrit Jupiter is called "guru" or teacher. This fits its association with the higher mind, philosophy, truth and religion. Perhaps Jupiter's good fortune derives from the capacity to give us a larger view in which to see the world.
The ongoing 90-degree square between stern Saturn and unforgiving Pluto is the primary background pattern that’s coloring the environment. The cold weather in much of the U.S. and Europe is just one unpleasant manifestation of this punishing pair’s tense relationship. However, there’s an emotional warming trend coming this week as optimistic Jupiter, traditional astrology’s “greater benefic”, moves into its watery home sign Pisces on Sunday the 17th. The giant planet’s shift from intellectual Aquarius to sensitive Pisces offers wisdom beyond words. While Aquarius forms fresh concepts and bright ideas that live in the abstract world of the mind, Pisces floods us with feelings, providing a “knowing” that’s experiential rather than conceptual.
Generous Jupiter opens windows of awareness, expanding consciousness according the sign it’s in. However, since Jupiter has been in close proximity with ethereal Neptune, Pisces’ modern ruling planet, since last April, its change of sign is unlikely to be dramatic. Still, this transition is important as it represents knowledge that comes in silence, whether through meditation or walking through a quiet wood. Answers arise in dreams and images that are beyond explanation. Truth reveals itself as a mystery that we can sense in our souls but which cannot be reduced to a simple sentence or two.
Data will continue to flow and ideas will flourish with Jupiter in Pisces. Yet the deeper issues of life’s meaning and the source of human suffering will be resolved in the heart and not in the head. In “The Doors of Perception” Aldous Huxley suggested that we are born with unfiltered access to information and that we must narrow its flow to find ourselves separately from the ocean in which first swam. Identity is about separation, marking me as different than you and, therefore, existing as a unique personality. Jupiter in Pisces, though, can loosen the bonds of ego and allow wisdom and compassion to overcome the prejudice and fear that are often the price of individuality.
Jupiter’s entry into Pisces is no panacea for the world’s woes. It will not suddenly heal all of our divisions and end injustice. Yet this one-year passage does increase access to a bottomless well of compassion, forgiveness and meaning that offers a much-needed balance to the hard boundaries between us and within us. Saturn square Pluto is about intention and commitment to constructive action, yet their gears grind harshly and can wear us out with the struggle to stay afloat or get ahead. Taking time to wander with music and art, poetry, fantasy, nature and spirituality is not a retreat from responsibility. These are essential acts that nourish the soul and provide the resilience that makes the hard work ahead possible and purposeful.