It is clear that living things have a tendency to grow; this impetus is the essence principle of Jupiter. Whereas animals and plants tend to grow bigger physically, human expansion after reaching adulthood is more closely connected to matters of the psyche and the broadening of personality through experience. As we age, we integrate life experiences into who we are, becoming a richer, more complete version of ourselves, typically with greater emotional maturity and wisdom.
The urge towards discovery is the mechanism of expansion and, with an appetite to sail into uncharted waters, we are drawn to search and explore new horizons and incorporate the unfamiliar into our way of being. Travelling is therefore one of the key aspects of a Jupiter-type event and we are better able to understand what this planetary archetype represents by thinking of the qualities that describe an explorer or traveller. They deal well with unexpected occurrences, taking on new things readily and without judgement. They tend to be friendly, cheerful and a little bit brave, looking for the good in any situation and overlooking anything untoward, showing genuine interest in learning about other people and their beliefs and customs.
This attitude is very positive and makes for a definite generosity of spirit. In fact, anyone in the role of patron is acting out one of the aspects of this planet – generally benign and supportive for those in need, especially towards charitable and artistic pursuits. One characterisation of these qualities is perhaps best seen in a different context – as Santa Claus – who has a real Jupiter flavour with his big belly, jocular tone and undiscriminating open-handedness. Such fullness of giving attracts good fortune, and indeed this is the planet of luck. It feels pleasant and easy, free of constraint, joyful and happy. A profusion of wealth flows in all directions and a sense of thriving well-being is the normal atmosphere surrounding people whose Jupiter placement gives it positive emphasis. Trappings of success seem to pile up even to the point of overabundance and profligacy.
The maturing of the psyche requires us to establish a set of moral principles and believe in them with conviction. We render our values into ideals and build an inner system or code by which to identify what is right and wrong; we call ourselves to account, and others to justice, when falling foul of the code. Pride and grandeur are expressed even to the point of pageantry in resonance to this aspect of Jupiter – for example there is certainly something in a high official that calls upon pomp and ceremony to back up the dignity of the law, whether secular or religious.
In fact, this often goes one step further when the issues are more along spiritual lines. Then dignity becomes reverence, and the explanation of moral principles evolves into persuasion and missionary intent. Jupiter teaches us to have faith in the meaning of life and wants to share that joyous discovery with everyone. This is the priest, healer, and teacher – whose fundamental message is one of hope and optimism.
Without some balance with Saturn’s restrictive self-discipline, Jupiter can slip into a different kind of pride – and dignity is then lost to smugness. This pridefulness is self-righteous and bigoted, and leads towards hypocrisy and indifference to others and their ideas. There is a degenerate quality that expresses in self-indulgence and extravagant, wasteful abandonment of ideals, also an addiction to pleasures, excessive celebration and the resultant over-expansion of the physical body towards obesity.
Yet when balanced and acted out with responsible awareness, this is the planetary energy associated with adventure, fun and freshness of life. There is a power that comes from self-confidence, an assertiveness of purpose, faith in the future and trusting the unexpected to be within our capacity to enjoy and turn to our advantage. An infant is unquestionably illustrative of growth and development. They actually have to be taught to be afraid, having the natural disposition to stretch out to discover new possibilities fearlessly.