Jupiter has several distinctions; it is the 5th planet from the sun, the 3rd brightest celestial object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus, and it’s the first and largest gas giant in our solar system. Jupiter has little solid surface and is mostly helium and hydrogen gas, two very volatile gases. It’s rotation is so fast that Jupiter bulges in the middle and is not a perfect sphere. It has 79 known moons including Ganymede, one of the original four discovered and with a mass larger than the planet Mercury.
The ruling planet of Sagittarius is the planet named for the Roman king of the gods Jupiter. Originally named Zeus by the ancient Greeks Jupiter was also the god of the sky and weather, law and order, and justice and wisdom while presiding over Mount Olympus and the pantheon of gods as their ruler.
Jupiter rules the 9th house in the zodiac and it takes Jupiter about 11 years to orbit the sun and travel through all 12 zodiac signs, spending about a year or less in each on average.
The name Zeus is directly derived from a Hindu god of the sky named Dyaus and is similar to the word god in other languages such as deus in Latin, theos in Greek, and deva in Sanskrit. Fitting for a god who is also associated with the Norse gods Odin, Thor and Tyr. Zeus and Jupiter are virtually identical as are their mythologies which are very colourful, entertaining and scandalous.
Zeus/Jupiter’s birth is a weird one. His father Saturn/Kronos was disturbed by a prophecy that he would be overthrown by a son so he swallowed all his children as fast as his wife Rhea gave birth. Powerless to stop him she substituted a rock for the infant Zeus at his birth and apparently Saturn was as dumb as a post as he didn’t notice. When Zeus came of age he challenged his father, forced him to regurgitate Zeus’ siblings and defeated him. This is almost identical to Cronus/Saturn’s birth story and the overthrow of his father Uranus. Interestingly, Zeus became known as a father god and god of fathers although in astrology the Sun and Saturn are more often associated with father. Zeus/Jupiter behaved in a royal and a paternalistic fashion although today his behaviour might be considered toxic masculinity.
Zeus had a tempestuous marriage to Hera (goddess of the heavens and his sister) but this union between the male and female sky deities was not a happy one most notably due to Zeus’ infinite extramarital affairs. He fathered many children with goddesses, nymphs, mortals and when reading the legends one might think anything that moved may not have been safe from Zeus’ amorous advances. He often disguised himself as a variety of animals such as a swan when he ravished Leda or as a cuckoo bird to seduce his sister-wife Hera.
Zeus would probably be considered a real sexist a-hole by today’s standards but most of the gods and goddesses were. Like all gods, they were a reflection of the society that created them.
Jupiter/Zeus was a powerful god and successfully defended his rule over the other gods and mortals quashing several uprisings. He also led the other gods in battle and in wars against the giants and became associated with victory and protection of the home and homeland. This led to Jupiter being highly regarded as a hero and protector and he was elevated as a father god king, Jupiter Optimus Maximus (the best and greatest) father of all the mortal and immortal beings including us. This mythology for Jupiter is similar to other sky gods.
Jupiter was usually portrayed as a middle-aged or older man with a long beard, an eagle-topped sceptre, a laurel wreath or crown on his head and seated on a throne. Although he was a god of war and violence, he also conferred legitimacy on Roman oaths and senate decisions. In this capacity Jupiter was judge and jury too as all disputes were brought to him to settle presiding over laws, government and wisdom in general.
Jupiter enjoyed high status as a god in Roman religion and daily life but quickly declined in popularity with the rise of Christianity. Once again, father god was displaced by a son of God.
Expansion & Growth
In the soul’s evolution first we have awareness of self (the Sun), then our emotional responses (the Moon), our ideas and thoughts (Mercury), our feelings (Venus), and finally with Mars we are aware of our physical bodies of matter and energy. Mars is all about the energy and matter of the physical world. All previous planets including Mars pertain to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being which develops our personal self; our personality.
Starting with Jupiter, we are exposed to spirit, to thoughts, ideas, philosophies, education, people and situations that are outside our self. We now have an expanded view of the world with Jupiter.
Jupiter is all about expansive energy or activities. When Jupiter is active in our life we see an expanded view, we find we have room to grow. We want to expand further in life by growing and trying new things, seeing new places, learning new knowledge, ideas and philosophies. This planet is perfectly suited to the 9th house.
But Jupiter is more than just a bunch of expanding gas, he also has great power. Through Jupiter we learn best where, when and how to enact our own power in the world while not over-reaching our power. We grow up with Jupiter and become an adult, although he has much to do with youth. With fun-loving jovial Jupiter we learn that the resources collected by Venus has wealth and that great wealth has power. This is probably the primary difference between Venus the Minor Benefic and Jupiter as the Major Benefic; it’s all about Jupiter’s ability to expand and grow unlike any other planet. Size matters here in astrology it appears.
We respond to life with the Sun with our personality, the Moon our emotions, Mercury our intellect, Venus our feelings, Mars with action or reaction, and with Jupiter we respond with purpose. With reason and what we learned so far. We expand from our own point of view to what is out there, with others, in other places, and we learn from the philosophies and education of others to form our own unique worldview, philosophy based on what we value. Now that we see a more expanded view of the world, we learn to value more than just our self or what is inside ourselves. At least that’s what we should do but this is when Jupiter is working at its highest level for expansion and growth. We truly become a better person.
When Jupiter is not kind in a horoscope the primary reason is due to excess. Jupiter works best when contained, monitored and adjusted, or controlled and then it can be an extremely useful tool. Think of a balloon that is filled with helium or air, the gas inside is Jupiter. Without the balloon to contain it Jupiter would be nothing but a collection of chemicals we call air. Jupiter is like a life line, it can hook you into a power that helps you grow and expand in life if used in proper measure. If Jupiter is squandered it works against itself.
Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius doesn’t do well when they do not learn to contain themselves or measure their energies out well. They can get exhausted and leave a mess or terror in their wake due to negative reactions. Anyone Jupiter-ruled (i.e. very strong in your horoscope) can be like this. But, over time when a person with very strong Jupiter learns self-discipline and persistence their resources that make them wealthy in one way or another expand and grow with so much ease they appear lucky. Good luck is much more about planning and the proper timing and use of resources than it is about magic. Aka knowing when to expand and grow versus knowing when to sit still and wait.
Needless to say Jupiter is not a sit and wait planet since it is all about expansion and growth but in astrology proper balance can work wonders. Learning to get a handle on your Jupiter, i.e. wherever you are likely to leap before you look can be helpful. The goal in life is to expand and grow in a way that is helpful for yourself and others. In many ways, Jupiter is such a beautiful planet in astrology as it shows you how giving of yourself to others is the best way to grow yourself. Help others expand and grow and you can’t help but grow as a spiritual human being from the experience.
Jupiter has a great effect on us personally as indicated by its relationships to the signs and other planets. In the first house it can be an indication of weight gain, in the 7th house it could mean more than one marriage, and so on. But Jupiter is the first planetary symbol of transpersonal experience or anything that goes beyond and is outside ourselves.
When trying to describe mind-expanding activities one does not think of anybody old-fashioned still chasing after the tried and true. There is a sense of moving forward not backward when learning, growing and developing. Many signs, planets and elements may have you stuck in the past but not Jupiter. It is all about moving forward in expansion and growth including beyond personal, social and even physical boundaries.
With Mars and the other personal planets there is much to do with our personal self and personal matters. With Jupiter and the other outer planets human beings must deal with matters of philosophy, religion, death and mortality, change whether slow or sudden, confusion, delusion, compulsions and much more that take us outside the safety of our inner selves. Some places are esoteric or mystical even, or a different state of reality perhaps; but we all share the same reality and world everybody else occupies. Through the transpersonal experiences of Jupiter we learn the lessons of the Universe. We create, understand and live a variety of personal life philosophies, traditions, and activities in life that we undertake religiously. Observance of the higher or more important concerns of others and society, going beyond our self we then honour and create a life of community.
Jupiter is nearly sun-like in its ability to help us shine and grow. When we explore the transpersonal we connect with other seekers and find we are all connected in life but with different roots, experiences, goals and pathways. As esoteric as all this is, ask yourself, “what is the meaning of life?” and pause and think a moment. The answer is Jupiter. The universe is constantly expanding as each one of us is over our lifetime. We expand and grow and that is the whole point isn’t it? The gurus and mystics and psychologists all say we should never stop growing.
Jupiter’s position in a sign or house expands the importance and activities related to the sign and house. This can be for good or for bad depending on other aspects in the horoscope. Often it does both. E.g. Jupiter aspecting Mercury might expand one’s intelligence and ability to communicate but also might indicate the person has verbal diarrhea. Jupiter aspecting the Moon may increase sensitivity and compassion, but too much so and the person doesn’t properly care for themselves or there is excess emotion.
These qualities are manifested in varying ways depending on the horoscope but we learn from other people’s responses to these personality traits whether we should expand or temper the trait to improve interpersonal relationships. In other words, Jupiter’s influence as a transpersonal planet is to take us out of ourselves, to understand the points of view of others. New understanding can help to adjust our personality in a particular way and manner that ultimately can help us grow as spiritual human beings.
Jupiter is the first of five and possibly six astrological planets if including Chiron that deal with transpersonal experience. Read more about this on each of the transpersonal planet’s individual page.
The Major Benefic
Most Jupiter-sized planets orbit the mother star in a highly elliptical orbit. This means they will often cross the orbit of any Earth-like planet and fling it into outer space, making life impossible. But our Jupiter travels in a near-perfect circular orbit, preventing a collision with any Earth-like planet, making life possible.
–Michio Kaku, American physicist and futurist
With Jupiter, the Major Benefic, all things are possible. Just as Jupiter was king of the gods and the world it is also the reigning planet with the most consistent benefits. All the other planets can be positive too but all have a dark side and Jupiter’s happens to not be that dark. If Jupiter is involved in a negative configuration in a horoscope its role is to expand it out of proportion maybe but Jupiter itself does not really have a dark side he is that beneficial. Jupiter’s negativity arises from itself only as excess but that can cover a lot of negative ground. Most anything that is good has an opposite bad side.
Jupiter is the Major Benefic because it represents growth, expansion, wealth, generosity, prosperity, plenty, gratitude, hope, optimism, good will, mercy, blessings, benevolence, kindness, good luck, great wealth and good health.
Wherever Jupiter is in your horoscope indicates where expansion is available or required. Jupiter’s house and sign position will reveal what makes us feel good or where we feel good. It represents the things we do to make ourselves feel good or the good things we do for others. It is where we give and also where we can receive. Jupiter appears to be a planet of good luck or maybe it’s just that wherever we spend more time and focus we eventually will find opportunity. Still, the planet clearly has benefits that can only be seen as lucky.
When Jupiter aspects money houses, planets or signs it may being wealth. In aspect to areas of health we more speedily heal from illness or surgery. When Jupiter is involved with areas of our horoscope dealing with resources we may develop an abundance there. Whatever activities we undertake when Jupiter is associated they will often turn out well or help us expand and grow.
Jupiter can be so powerful that just one really good aspect with this planet seems to lessen the negative impact of other planets or configurations. Even when Jupiter endures what are considered the more negative aspects such as squares and oppositions, Jupiter somehow may still provide a bridge to a happy outcome. Jupiter truly is a marvel and one of the most beneficial parts of astrology and reading a horoscope.
Unfortunately sometimes Jupiter can expand a negative situation into a very negative one but it isn’t usually the catalyst; that more often is Mars or another fast moving planet. E.g. Mars conjunct Jupiter can sometimes indicate a person who is a potential con artist. That may not be activated in that way ever, or it may not become activated until a negative planetary affliction transits the conjunction. Some planets appear to act like switches turning events and situations “on” or “off”. Generally, Jupiter turns situations positive but it can be negative when its influence is excessive, or the native chooses excess over reason.
When reading through Jupiter’s positions in certain houses or signs you begin to understand exactly how this expansive energy manifests as a beneficial influence, as an influence of healing and prosperity or growth. By transit or progression or in a natal chart, Jupiter is the happier side of astrology and very welcome in most cycles and activities it undertakes.
Opportunities & Luck
Having an opportunity suddenly presented appears very lucky. In many ways its like we were chugging along in one vehicle when another one came by and we jumped ship and now find ourselves zooming along. Good luck is a sudden windfall, like a very high denomination of paper currency that the wind literally blew towards us and we snatched it up as it floated by. The unspoken but generally realized fact about good luck is that it is very momentary and fleeting and we must seize it when presented or it becomes a missed opportunity.
Jupiter spins very quickly compared to other planets and maybe it has something to do with that but it is true the opportunities presented by Jupiter may be fleeting but because it and life is contained in cycles you can bet another opportunity will probably come around again. That is optimism, more of Jupiter’s domain, yet it is also a reality as every eleven years Jupiter completes an orbit and is back in the general same place again. It may not be the same one, but another opportunity is likely to be presented. Jupiter is like that; you may get several chances.
But some argue there is no such thing as luck. Luck is merely an action taken by someone who was prepared and just waiting for the right time to seize their chance. Planning and timing had more to do with it than serendipity in this case. This is also true. Jupiter comes along sometimes to provide a resource that we use later on to greater advantage. When aspecting a money house it could be a financial dividend paid later after a term deposit. Or receiving a new credit card. Having these extra financial resources had nothing to do with luck and more opportunity.
Whenever we plan for or enact an opportunity to grow and expand financially or concerning some other resource Jupiter is usually involved. Aspecting Mercury and we likely have opportunities to grow money or education. Aspecting Neptune and we have opportunity to grow in spiritual, creative or medical experience. Jupiter aspecting work areas indicates a time when career opportunities may arise, or we go looking for them. Wherever Jupiter is we can usually develop or find opportunities and sometimes it appears lucky but could be the good karma you put out there coming back to you.
Philosophy, Religion, Morals & Ethics
As ruler of the 9th house and Sagittarius Jupiter is heavily involved with the development of morals, ethics, values, philosophy and religion. Jupiter is a symbol for all religions but more in the sense of religion as being a team of people in charge of administering or overseeing the religion. In the UK and other countries today the reigning monarch is still considered the head of the state or official religion. Jupiter was the official head of the state religion as father god and today retains his status as a symbol of religion in the horoscope. Neptune is a planet of spirituality and altered states of consciousness, while Saturn also retains a father god symbology by being a symbol of more traditional religion observances so Jupiter is not the only planet of religion.
Jupiter is a symbol of expanded consciousness where the concepts of religion and spirituality exist. The personal planets have nothing to do with our view of God or religion beyond symbolizing some traditions. It’s the transpersonal planets that expose us to the various concepts of God and spirituality by interacting with our personal planets. In Jupiter we see a benevolent god full of gifts and growth and expansion. This is quite unlike the Saturnian understanding of god that requires sacrifice or Pluto’s understanding of god that requires rebirth. Jupiter’s view of god and religion is the expanded consciousness of keeping good personal values, morals, ethics and philosophies of life.
Jupiter can be very charitable, giving, celebratory and helpful to community. Through our involvements with charity, religion and upholding good values we become more civilized and closer to our spiritual being than our human animal side. In giving to others we expand our experience and can be happy about contributing to the good of all, having faith that the good we put out there will grow and expand and return in kind.
With Jupiter we expand our consciousness to understand that life is a lot more than just getting enough food and having a home or companionship. It is beyond material existence and into the realm of spirit where our soul truly lives. It is beyond our own bodies, mind and earthly planet that humans experience something out of this world. In the great gaseous universe where we and Jupiter the planet reside we wonder if a supreme intelligence also exists. Or alien life forms.
Human beings have thousands of years of historic attachment to religion, faith and philosophy. All of these beliefs are theories and philosophies, but for some these philosophies are religious fact and a sacred religion. Jupiter symbolises any form of experiencing the divine. Or anything outside of own mere speck of existence. Jupiter has many points of view and depending on your viewpoint each philosophy may be considered the godly truth or just a collection of outlandish ideas.
Many people claim not to have a religion or interest in spirituality. That may be true, going to a building and praying with the community may not be their thing, they don’t get pleasure or inspiration from it. But wherever Jupiter is in your horoscope can tell what other things give you such deep pleasure they almost make you high or expand your consciousness although not part of a religion. They can be a spiritual practice however like meditation, humming, being involved with nature or art. Jupiter will always indicate what makes you feel high and the most happiest even if you’re an atheist.
Healing & The Good Things in Life
Although Jupiter does not rule a health house now he once ruled the 12th house and Pisces. In general, Jupiter is not so much a planet of health as it is a planet of the healing process. But certain Jupiter aspects can indicate good or bad health and when may be the best time to begin or undertake a healing process or activity. In this way Jupiter by transit or progression in particular will indicate a time period when a native moves from ill health or convalescence, or to a state where healing is expanding and growing. Jupiter can indicate a total and complete recovery or restoration to good health.
Jupiter can heal more than the human body. It can be involved in the healing of a relationship, a dispute, a mental, emotional or spiritual injury. Jupiter can heal your bank account when money arrives and helps get rid of debt, whether through work or luck. Jupiter can appear magical sometimes as things miraculously appear and sometimes prayers are answered.
Wherever Jupiter appears in a horoscope natally or by transit and progression is where you can experience a healing or correction of whatever was wrong. Jupiter can be just like the entertainment talk show host who generously gives away items just for being there. “You get a new TV, and you get a new TV, and you and you!” Jupiter can have a telescoping or rippling effect and follows the laws of prosperity. Heal another to heal yourself. Pad your own karmic bank account by being kind and generous to others.
Jupiter is all about the good things in life. It is wine, carousing and song; spiritual or sexual fulfillment; a windfall and good luck; or being in the right place at the right time. Jupiter symbolises miraculous recovery from illness or strife; it is laughter and fun and games; good food and a great party or celebration; and scoring points playing the game, and winning or losing it doesn’t matter as long as there’s growth. It is taking advantage of all the gifts and opportunities life gives us from time to time and it is also gratitude. Jupiter is contentment, happiness, joy, euphoria, and everything that makes us or leaves us feeling good.
Physiologically Jupiter rules the liver, spleen, pancreas, the fatty tissues and lipids. Through Sagittarius it is associated with the hips and thighs. Some illnesses are attributed to or exacerbated by Jupiter primarily through its ability to cause fluids or microbes to expand, multiply and grow quickly as in swelling, inflammation, infection or cancer and other auto-immune illness especially when in affliction with Neptune.
Retention of fat and fluids may be attributed to Jupiter especially if any of the organs it rules becomes injured or compromised. Illnesses relating to Jupiter can sometimes quickly get out of hand causing death. Miraculous recoveries may be attribute d to Jupiter as well especially if there’s a rapid recovery. Jupiter often demands that health issues are addressed immediately so they don’t quickly deteriorate and get out of hand. Sometimes, illness or poor health will grow over time especially if symptoms are ignored. Obesity and addiction are considered poor states of health and these often develop over time. The Jupiter association is through excess in these cases.
Afflictions to Jupiter by certain other planets and conditions can indicate illness such as liver disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, and deposits of lipids or fatty tissues as in cysts and benign growths or tumours. Generally, people with a strong Jupiter in their horoscope will enjoy good health most of their life unless seriously afflicted. Jupiter has more to do with healing than disease but the organs and systems it rules can be vulnerable.
Jupiter is associated with youth and young people. Mars is associated with birth into the physical realm,
Venus with children, Moon with mother, and so on; Jupiter is associated with teens and young adults. Jupiter prominent in the fun and education houses may indicate an enjoyment of working with youth. The planet of growth, Jupiter also has association with any growth process in general and also maturing into adulthood or wisdom.
Jupiter is associated with your religion and may represent your view of God’s personality. It’s sign and aspects can indicate whether you have any faith at all and whether it is traditional or non-conforming. Problems or recovery from gambling, drugs, alcohol, food, sex and other addictions can be indicated by Jupiter. Jupiter can highlight wherever we are excessive or squandering resources.
When involved with personal planets or in affliction Jupiter may have an influence that is arrogant, egotistic, toxically masculine, prejudiced, domineering, grossly manipulative, overpowering or violent. Jupiter can be overbearing, garrulous, gossipy, trouble-making, and excessively unaware of what’s acceptable and what’s not showing a lack of wisdom and extremely poor judgment when afflicted. Even the Major Benefic can be a major pain sometimes.
Usually Jupiter is all that is wonderful about life and other people and situations. When expressed in a lower fashion it is all those negative things above and more. But when expressed in its highest manner, Jupiter is optimistic, supportive, bountiful, prosperous, opportunistic, healing, faithful, and nothing but loving kindness. Jupiter seeks to help us expand and grow as spiritual human beings and reminds us we are all children of the one source of goodness and prosperity we call God or another name.
Jupiter is a fiery planet through it’s association with Sagittarius and lends itself to incendiary situations and events. Jupiter’s expansive influence can cause things to go out of control very quickly leading to a lot of melodrama and conflict. Jupiterian (Jovian) and Sagittarian energy works best in a planned, measured dose to prevent a quick dissipation of its bountiful influence and it cannot be bottled up forever as it continually expands. Try to improperly contain Jupiter and it is very explosive.
Jupiter is usually the best face we reveal in public. It is the side of us that likes to laugh, have fun, socialize, learn and grow and PARTY. Jupiter helps us develop socially and in philosophy and wisdom. It deserves respect and when not utilized properly by Jove all hell can break loose like a propane tank with a tiny leak at a fireworks display. In other words, duck and get out of the way.
Jupiter and all the other planets except the Sun and Moon have a retrograde cycle. Read more about this here.