November 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm UT

Jupiter at 00° Sagittarius

Butterflies and Poppies, Vincent van Gogh
Tomorrow, Jupiter will emerge from the deep waters of Scorpio, dry off and enter his very own sign: "sunny-side-up" Sagittarius, represented by that hybrid creature, half-man, half-horse, the Centaur-archer, a symbol of the quest for wisdom and enlightenment.

Sagittarius and Jupiter both represent the search for the meaning of life, but in a horizon-expanding, active and adventurous way. Where Scorpio finds her answers in the deep caverns of the soul, Sagittarius meets them like a friend on the open road. The Archer rules all hope-filled and inspiring, vista-widening experiences, including religion in its higher function as a source of divine guidance. Sagittarius is the eternal traveler, in mind and body, the ever-restless spirit, Odysseus taking the long way home.

One of three identity-focused, fire element signs, Sagittarius, unlike cardinal Aries and fixed Leo, falls in the disseminating, mutable modality. Sagittarian fire is distributed fire — inspiration focused outward — like the Centaur's arrow, a perfect symbol for Sagittarius who finds her deepest fulfillment in the act of sharing knowledge. Sagittarian fire is collegial rather than imagecompetitive, and influences a scholarly approach to life. Teaching, empowering, and guiding others are all uniquely Sagittarian-Jupiterian urges. Sag is the eternal student who possesses a lifelong enthusiasm for learning, growing and personal development. Philosophy, by the way, is ruled by Sagittarius, and the word derives from the Greek philosophia — "love of wisdom."

When Jupiter enters Sagittarius, it marks a year in which we are meant to open up much more to life, examine where our personal philosophy meets the road of life, and how we are perhaps falling short of our full, glorious potential. As Charles Carter noted, without Jupiter's help, we are "destined to end, materially and intellectually, where we began." It takes optimism, faith and hope, Jupiter and Sag qualities, to risk the unknown, strive for something else outside one's safe and familiar life. "Open-minded faith in oneself and the future," as astrologer Stephen Arroyo noted, is not just associated with risk-taking, but is "actually a critical mode of learning. And once again, we see Jupiter's connection with exploration. Arroyo elaborates:

"...exploring the possibilities of life and giving space for perhaps undreamed-of potentials to surface is another way of knowing on other levels."

Vincent van Gogh, Dale Carnegie, William Blake, William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot all of these inspirational artists, teachers and writers had Jupiter in Sagittarius. Yeats — whose natal Jupiter in Sag opposed his Gemini Sun, sextiled his Aquarius Moon, and formed the apex of a high-flying kite formation in his chart — described the experience of having this expansive planet strong in its own sign when he emphatically stated that the "mystical life is at the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write."

Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhone

"When one gets quiet, then something wakes up inside one, something happy and quiet like the stars."

— William Butler Yeats, Natal Jupiter in Sagittarius

This Sagittarian-Jupiterian concept of divine inspiration — connection to a personal helping spirit, daimon or muse, is a recurring motif in the ancient myths. On this note, a few years ago I came across a talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert gives a touchingly humorous and clever lecture regarding this very Jupiterian notion of creative inspiration and the ancient Greek notion of "having" a muse — or a genius, as the Romans called divine inspiration — contrasted with our modern, arrogant notion of thinking of oneself as being a genius. It's a truly Jupiter-inspired talk, and lots of fun too. I really recommend it: Elizabeth Gilbert — Nurturing Creativity.

Connecting with higher guidance and nurturing creativity also fits with our current Venus retrograde cycle, which has shifted its own gears recently, retrograding back into Libra, where Venus rules and is strong. So we'll have both of our benefics in the signs they rule. Inspiration is indeed flowing.

* * *

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

— Edward Abbey

Planetary cycles do not just deliver personal affects of course, they also influence the collective as well. With Jupiter's strong ties to growth and development, both positive and devasting, over this next year we may see an increase in revelations regarding the dangerous destruction of our planet's limited resources, resources we all share and depend upon for our survival, in particular the growing alarm of climate change due to the industrialization/mechanization of life since the 1800s.

Edward Abbey, writer/activist of the American West, whose statement above, from his book, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West, sums up our current modern condition with its insane notion of never-ending growth and development, and attendant gobbling up of resources. I'm going to close this post with Abbey's insights from a benediction he wrote inviting a life of exploration and adventure, a simpler life well lived in harmony with the Earth.

MAY THIS NEXT YEAR with Jupiter strong in Sagittarius, Venus soon to station direct in her own sign, help us to see what's truly important. May we begin to re-dedicate our lives in alignment with these realizations, not only for our own benefit, but for every creature with whom we share this beautiful Earth.

Winter Sunset, Mendocino County, California

"Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls."


Jupiter in Sagittarius: Important Dates (UT)

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Vincent van Gogh, Butterflies and Poppies,1890. Oil on canvas, 35 x 25.5 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Sagittarius, illumination from a 15th century manuscript.

Carter, Charles. Some Principles of Horoscopic Delineation. Astrology Classics: Bel Air, MD, 2009

Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhone,1888. Oil on canvas,72.5 x 92 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris