When the brothers, Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune, divided up the world, Pluto got the underworld, Neptune got the oceans, and Jupiter got the land and skies. So for living mortals, Jupiter was definitely the guy in charge.
Jupiter (Zeus) was the lawgiver, but didn’t really consider himself bound by the laws he made for others. He was quite the lady’s man, finding and taking his pleasure whenever he pleased, with the most handsome women, men, and minor deities, despite his jealous and vindictive wife’s displeasure. Ever the optimist, Jupiter always considered that luck would be with him–and it generally was, though the hapless victims of his passions ended up bearing the wrath of Juno’s displeasure. Jupiter rather enjoyed a good party, and favored contests and special events. And when he saw others misbehaving, he was particularly fond of hurling thunderbolts at them as punishment! No one ever hurled one back, either!
In Hindu mythology, Jupiter has a less worldly image. Considered the Guru-planet, Jupiter can bestow wisdom, education, knowledge of sacred practices, and is a tremendous protector against harm.
These two sides of Jupiter were highlighted by a series of events at the close of the twentieth century. People with a strong Jupiter in their charts, which means anyone born in the sign of Sagittarius, Pisces, or with Jupiter on a chart angle or other defining major aspect patterns, felt these the changes even more than the rest of us. So what are these changes, and how are they taking place? The answer involves a cosmic dance so precise and significant it is truly breathtaking.
But first, let’s look at the potentials. The sign of Sagittarius has two major types of people:
One is the social explorer, the adventurer, the “party animal”, the athlete. This very overt and social personality is often the life of the party. They live for adventure, for the “good times” and can sometimes have some rather blustery personality traits. They are optimistic, gregarious, generous, with a tendency to indulge (or overindulge) themselves and their friends.
The other type of Sagittarius is the Sage. This is the scholar or the priest–the person whose thirst for knowledge is not confined to social affairs, to travel and new experiences. This person is drawn to understand the deeper meanings of life. Both types of Sagittarian want to learn, to know more, to understand the world, but one is directed to the physical world and the other to the world of ideas or philosophies.
It’s interesting to note that Sagittarius is represented by the Centaur–the half-man and half-horse being of mythology. And indeed, we have two types of centaurs in mythology, too. One is the drunken, wild animal, known for destructiveness and debauchery, and completely and totally mortal. The other is the centaur Chiron, born of immortal parents, and known for his wisdom, knowledge, and compassion. Although I do not ascribe “rulership” of Sagittarius to Chiron, there is undeniably a close connection!
So what is this cosmic dance that is changing Jupiter? I credit this brilliant observation to Prudence Neusink, British astrologer, who shared her insight with me in an email in the 1990’s. This dances starts in 1977, with the discovery of Chiron. We can see this as a hint of what is to come–a suggestion for change.
Chiron’s average position in the lineup of planets places him between *Saturn (limits, authority) * and *Uranus (revolution),* but his eccentric orbit is a whole lot wider-ranging than that–appropriate for the traveling horse-man.
Chiron’s orbit takes him all the way *past Uranus (creeping up on Neptune)* at the outside, and *inside the orbit of Saturn, approaching, yes, Jupiter* at his closest position to the Sun. Oddly enough, Chiron was discovered when he was quite far from earth–just outside the orbit of Uranus.
To go back a bit: in grade school we learned the order of the planets. Adding the trapped comet Chiron, we would agree that the normal order of planets from the Sun are:
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and (yes, I still call him a planet) Pluto.
In 1979 this order was all jumbled up. Every two hundred years or so, Pluto dips inside the orbit of Neptune for twenty years. Remember, Pluto is the “Great Transformer”. He delivers life-and-death messages that forever change those they touch. In 1979, we had a different planetary order:
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Chiron, Pluto, Neptune.
The inspirational Neptune was at the farthest reaches of the solar system, intuiting the secret messages of the galaxy, whispering that message to Pluto. Then Pluto stepped in to pass along that “message” to Chiron, who is also called “The Bridge”. Chiron started moving closer to the Sun. When Chiron crept past Saturn to a place between Saturn and Jupiter, the message was delivered to Jupiter in the form of the 1995 Shoemaker-Levi comets!! The god was finally having thunderbolts hurled back at him! This series of comet fragments pounded into the face of the mighty Jupiter just as another important change was taking place……
In 1995, Pluto entered the sign of Sagittarius for the first time since Pluto’s discovery. The first time a planet moves through a sign after its discovery, it changes that sign in some way. As the Great Transformer, this change is even more powerful with Pluto. So Sagittarius, and its ruler Jupiter now has received Neptune’s message from the galaxy, delivered via Pluto to Chiron, who stands by and watches as a sister-comet hurls moon-sized rocks at Jupiter and as the Great Transformer takes over Sagittarius promising even more profound changes. But that isn’t the end.
Meanwhile, back on earth, on the very first day of Pluto’s stay in tropical Sagittarius, the great sports figure O.J. Simpson (Sagittarius rules sports) went on trial (Sagittarius rules the legal system) for the murder of his wife, creating the greatest (Jupiter causes expansion) media spectacle (Sagittarius rules the press) of all time. In blatant detail, we saw what’s wrong with making sports figures into heroes, we saw the failings of the judicial system, and we saw the foolishness of a media run amuck with voyeurism. Baseball players went on strike, giving us an entire season without America’s National Pastime (replaced by OJ’s trial). And it’s interesting to notice the bookend to this transit: In the last month of Pluto’s transit of tropical Sagittarius (not to return for another 236 years), OJ is again on trial. I dreamt this bookend as the trial opened, and the word “JUSTICE” appeared in the dream, almost like a caption at the bottom of the TV screen. Hmmm.
But the cosmic dance didn’t end here. Yet another message was coming. From the heart of the galaxy, directly from the galactic center at 28 Sagittarius, came another comet. Hale-Bopp lit up the skies with a sight never before seen in this century. With its coming, a fanatic religious (ruled by Sagittarius) group commited mass suicide to join the spaceship (Sagittarius rules long distance travel) they believed accompanied the comet.
And by the end of the 20th century, there was one more signal from the stars. On December 31, 1999, at 12:00 midnight in most parts of the world, Pluto and Chiron were exactly conjoined at 11 degrees of tropical Sagittarius. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is: “A flag turns into an eagle; the eagle into a chanticleer saluting the dawn: The spiritualization and promotion of great symbols of a New Age by minds sensitive to its precursory manifestations. This symbol urges us to bring our noblest ideals to actual life through the power of spiritual will. Annunciation.”
The new centaurs bring us a tremendous message of hope for the new century. It is up to us, though, to decipher the message of responsibility that comes with the power, glory, and expansiveness of Jupiter.
All text and lineart in these pages Copyright 2009 by Anne Beversdorf