Jupiter is the part of our soul that is dying to be reborn through experience.
I like to call Jupiter the Giver of Gifts, although this planet is commonly known as the King of the Gods. Jupiter is all about expansion – after all, this is the largest and most influential planet in our solar system. Jupiter has been dubbed the “vacuum cleaner” of the solar system because of its enormous gravitational field which sucks in and traps asteroids and other cosmic debris. In fact, Jupiter’s gravitational influence extends nearly all the way to Saturn’s orbit. Did you know that Jupiter gives off more light than it receives from the Sun? This is something to emulate – at times we are surrounded by so much cold and darkness that we are forced to learn how to generate our own light and energy. In infancy, Jupiter was very close to becoming a star but ultimately didn’t have enough mass to achieve this.
Jupiter is incredibly massive – two and a half times more massive than all the other planets combined! It takes Jupiter approximately 12 years to circle the Sun, spending about one year in each sign. Jupiter has at least 67 moons, the largest of which, Ganymede, is greater in diameter than Mercury, as it is with Saturn’s moon Titan. Jupiter has the fastest rotation speed of all the planets in the solar system at about 10 hours. This insane pace actually makes the planet bulge at the equators. You can observe this distortion even with an amateur telescope. The stripes we see on Jupiter’s surface are also a result of this breakneck speed. Cloud layers collect in storm corridors where wind speeds reach up to 360 km/hour (and up to 618 km/hour in the Great Red Spot!)
Jupiter personified resembles Santa Claus: jolly, festive, generous, full of humor and positive vibrations. The energy of this planet is tolerant and plentiful. Jupiter represents the human need to grow and broaden our horizons through the acquisition of knowledge, particularly knowledge that extends beyond the scope of the individual, that which speaks to our higher purpose and potential. Jupiter encourages us to reach and challenge what we believe to be possible. He pushes us to break down perceived walls. Jupiter’s good fortune is harvested through strong morals, gratitude, honor and mercy.
Every planet and sign has a shadow side. When Jupiter’s energy is taken to the extreme, feelings of invincibility, trust and faith become blinding rather than illuminating. There can be such an abundance of light that common sense fades away. This blindness leads to excess and over-indulgence. We must participate in generating our luck, not just expect it to continue flowing. Remember: the energies of the planets are not causing events in your life, they are providing opportunities to create events. They are like doors that are sometimes open, sometimes closed. Timing is everything, SEIZE the moment! If you do not enter the lottery, then how can you win? Jupiter reminds us that if we take the leap, the Universe will meet us halfway.
In classic astrology, Jupiter rules education, law, travel, spirituality and the zodiac sign Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign. The mutability of this planet is apparent in Jupiter’s constant push for evolution and expansion of the soul. Through Jupiter we learn not just that life is worth living, but that life is meant to be lived with open arms and a smile! My favorite of all the movements in Gustav Holst’s Planetary Suite is Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity.