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Beyond the sphere of Mars, in distant skies
Revolves the mighty magnitude of Jove
With kingly state,
the rival of the Sun,
About him round four planetary Moons
On earth with wonder,
all night long beheld
Moon above Moon,
his fair attendants dance

Manual of Astrology  

Jupiter in Psycological Astrology
Jupiter's Rulerships
Jupiter in Mundane Signification
Jupiter through a Telescope
Astronomical Data

Jupiter: Lord of Plenty by Deborah Houlding

Jupiter is the largest of all the planets, aptly reflecting its principle of drawing us towards a sense of fullness and offering a grander, more expansive vision of reality. It expresses the qualities of abundance, freedom, growth and fertility; broadening our horizons and bringing relief from the restraints that cause us to view the world in narrow, constricting terms. Its sense of liberation allows us to move, explore, think and act with greater acknowledgement of the power of our own self-will.

Classical sources describe Jupiter as 'temperate' because its sphere lies between the cooling influence of Saturn and the burning power of Mars. It brings no destructive extremes to threaten vitality, and is thus defined as 'warming and moistening', an active combination of qualities that draws things together in harmony to support increase and growth. Hence Jupiter is known as the 'Greater Benefic', its essential nature being fertilising and creative. It rules the sanguine humour (blood), which is connected with the air triplicity and finds its seat in the liver, the largest organ in the body. Through its prolific influence it is known as the Lord of Plenty, a symbol of prosperity that offers a ready supply for our physical, material, mental and spiritual needs.

Being sanguine, Jupiter is a liberal planet with a relaxing influence. By calming our anxieties it can seem to take away our awareness of limitation, filling us with confidence, optimism and a joy for living. As it breaks down the boundaries that have arisen through fear, life appears more colourful, more spacious, and full of opportunities that wait our attention. When buoyed by its promise of self-assurance most of us feel luckier, more prepared to take a risk and view life as a game in which we must fully engage ourselves and grasp any opportunity to indulge our sense of self-worth. Its nature is to enlarge, inflate and augment; its extremes are connected to exaggeration, over-indulgence, wastefulness, superficial promotion and false promises that distort reality beyond recognition.

We think of Jupiter as the planet of increase and expect to prosper under its influence, but the opportunities that it brings are based upon having greater freedom to think and act for ourselves, less inhibited by closed options that normally define our prospects and selections for us. Such freedom calls for conscious awareness of what we do, why we do it, and how we balance the urge for instant gratification against the need to invest in the future. If we fail to acknowledge the value of caution and moderation, we can be fooled into exploiting opportunities that lead towards financial failure, spiritual dissatisfaction, or the boredom and depression that accompanies surfeit and over-indulgence. Jupiter doesn't offer revenge but allows us to be the architects of our own destruction, giving us enough rope to hang ourselves if we call for it. As the supplier of the bounteous feast, Jupiter knows that those whose greed exceeds necessity will end up sorry that they failed to self-impose propriety.

Thus this planet is a symbol for natural justice, not enforced from without, but seen to originate from our own actions. Devoid of the opportunity to scapegoat others for our afflictions, we are forced to take responsibility for ourselves and reflect upon how destructive freedom can be unless monitored by conscious awareness. Evolution of consciousness is Jupiter's true principle and it is thus seen as the patron of philosophers, priests, religious leaders, judges, champions of moral values, and all who consciously seek to live by higher principles. Its symbolism embodies a deeply spiritual essence that calls for a balanced appreciation of untamed nature, honouring the creative will, and Divine Illumination, which expects subservience to the higher mind.

The symbol for Jupiter shows the crescent of spirit being anchored in the cross of matter; a signature of contact with divine illumination. Such noble concerns give Jupiter a regal reputation, so, unless afflicted, it acts as a general significator for those who wield powerful influence and conduct themselves with dignity and honour. In ancient times kings were believed to have priestly powers because they were viewed as a figure head through which Divine Will manifests on earth.[1] Both priests and the 'Divine King' were ascribed the power to heal by touch, being agents of Jupiter's healing, soothing powers. Modern medicine bears shadows of this belief in the symbol used to represent a prescription, originally part of a ritual designed to communicate Jupiter's healing energies to the patient by invoking beneficial enlightenment for the physician.[2] A similar ritual is perpetuated in law courts where before giving testimony we swear by God to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Nowadays we do it on a bible, anciently we did it by the sceptre of Jupiter.

In Greek mythology Jupiter is Zeus, heavenly father, lord of the day and king of the gods. No star shines as brightly as his; Venus may do so at times, but she is constricted to morning and evening appearances and can never shine brightly from the zenith of heaven. Jupiter's celestial brilliance portrays vitality, power, strength, and freedom of will. Depictions of Zeus generally show him bearing the symbols of sovereignty that remain in ceremonies of royal investiture today. The laurel crown symbolises a radiance of creative understanding; the sceptre draws divine inspiration down to earth. For Zeus this is often replaced by the lightning bolt, which has the power to illuminate or destroy through its awesome cosmic force.[3] Zeus is freedom loving, unbowing to convention, self indulgent, extremely prolific in offspring, and prepared to chase every opportunity by means foul or fair. But he is also the arbiter of justice whose myths depict the lesson that liberation offers us choices, but choices can lead to chaos. Unless we use our freedom wisely, it may become the source of our own undoing and ultimately return us to restriction. [4]

Jupiter in Psycological Astrology

The psychological principles of Jupiter are relaxation and expansion. As the ruler of the warm and moist element of air, we can draw a parallel between Jupiter's effect on mind and matter and the alternating states of water. Under normal circumstances, water has a fluid movement but is always defined by its container. When cooled, water becomes immovable and its fluidity is blocked. When warmed, it resists constraint, expanding and rising above its bounds. The latter is the Jupiter principle, inflating the space around us, giving us room to manoeuvre. As the limitations that previously held us in check feel relaxed, we expand to fill the void, opening up to new perspectives and developing new areas of interest.

Jupiter transits often coincide with experiences that extend our capacity for philosophical insight. They may bring travel to foreign places or an encounter with alternate worldviews that illuminate our minds with a fresh approach to life-issues. Sometimes they bring periods of personal relaxation, where we enjoy the jovial company of friends and move our focus away from life's daily grind. Sometimes Jupiter may be more direct in bringing opportunities for growth, through business proposals and financial benefits.

The problems inherent in Jupiter transits arise from the fact that this relaxed and liberal state cannot be expected to last forever. If taken for granted, it leads to a false sense of security and an unrealistic vision that allows us to build our plans on 'a wing and a prayer'. Since our boundaries have been relaxed, it is never wise to push to the limit - an over confident investment made under the influence of Jupiter may well become the cause for fear and anxiety under a later influence of Saturn.

Jupiter's emphasis is always on the bigger picture, and it tends to make that picture brighter, wider and more colourful than it appears through any of the other planetary lenses. By captivating our interest in the potential of what something could be, we often blur the minor details, smoothing out the inconsistencies for the sake of bringing cohesion to the whole. Thus Jupiter is the master of marketing; in its negative expression the slick salesman who, full of exaggeration, will sell you the dream and tell you to worry about the payments later. It's a 'live for the moment' principle, a time when we are open to self-indulgence and naturally seeking feel-good factors that may later need to be paid for in sweat-filled labour or worked off at the gym. An afflicted Jupiter is a sign of exaggerated promise, where the reality, when viewed in detail, fails to live up to expectations or has a poor grounding in actuality.

Jupiter can only bring a sense of increase to those who have the will to expand. Where the opportunities have previously existed unexploited, Jupiter will only bring more of the same. Hence another negative expression of Jupiter is the boredom and dissatisfaction felt by those who need the defining influence of pressure, stress and deadlines to give them impetus for action and challenge. If we are too relaxed, we become lethargic, wasteful and languid. Then our energies dissipate and the creative uplift we expect fails to manifest, blocked by the destructive effects of spiritual or physical stagnation and satiety.

Jupiter's Rulerships

Jupiter has its diurnal home in Sagittarius and its nocturnal home in Pisces. The former bears a trine aspect to Leo, the sign of the Sun, the latter bears the same agreeable relationship to Cancer, the sign of the Moon. These are therefore deemed to be signs of easy manifestation for a planet that symbolises fecundity and harmony. In Sagittarius Jupiter is coloured by the vitality and active manifestation of the solar principle; in Pisces by the restorative and reflective qualities of the lunar principle. Being itself a diurnal planet, most suited to active expression, Jupiter yields a clearer and more direct influence in Sagittarius than Pisces.

In Sagittarius Jupiter's energies become hotter and dryer - more active and self contained. The temperament of moisture describes empathy and easy influence from others, so where Jupiter is dried it is more self-conscious and focussed upon independent interests. In Sagittarius Jupiter describes openness and honesty, but through a 'devil may care' attitude that lacks sensitivity and tact. The increase in heat gives a restless energy that craves excitement and exploration, freedom from restraint and active participation in life experiences. The energy is boisterous and dominates the attention of others, but it is generally directed towards a focus.

In Pisces Jupiter's energies are cooled and moistened - empathy and sensitivity is increased and the urge for exploration is internalised. In this sign Jupiter's tolerance can manifest as great compassion for the freedom and philosophical rights of others. There is a marked sense of fluidity and the energies are less focussed, with restlessness displayed as shifting moods and drives that respond to external events as occasion sees fit. There is a greater appreciation of complex influences that call for subtle expression. Being less focussed in this sign, Jupiter's freedom of will lacks applied direction and can bring bouts of chaos and confusion.

Jupiter in Mundane Signification

Of the seven metals, Jupiter rules tin, revered in ancient times because of its preserving effect. Tin purifies water, has an attractive silver lustre symbolic of light, and has no detrimental impact upon other substances. These virtues, and the fact that it is easily worked and decorated, made it a preferred choice for cups, eating vessels and religious artefacts. Nowadays tin dominates the distribution of nourishment through the use of the tin can, whilst pure tin remains the most practical material for handling high-purity water in distillation plants - being chemically inert to water it is unable to contaminate it in any way. The metal is named after the god Tinia, the Etruscan equivalent of Roman Jupiter and Greek Zeus. The Etruscan word tin means 'day', illustrating the close affiliation between the metal and a planetary deity whose Greek name Zeus derives from djeu - the root of the word we use for 'day' in modern European languages. Jupiter governed the day as the supreme ruler of the sky; the sacred origin of his word is also revealed through djeu's evolution into the terms 'deity' and 'divine'. [5]

In observable characteristics, Jupiter depicts someone who is broad-minded and tolerant, often accompanied by a notable sense of humour that allows them to remain buoyant. If Jupiter is dignified and well placed, they are defined as honourable, trustworthy, wise and magnanimous - holding power and influence but using it sparingly, preferring to give others room to move towards the best course of action in their own way and time. Jupiter characterises the liberal boss who knows he has employed someone for their unique insight and encourages them to express it to the full, or the parent that believes in giving children freedom to discover their own sense of morality. The personality is trusting and trustworthy, indulgent and generous to itself and others. Jupiter types often believe that there is a fundamental 'meaning' behind everything that happens, so they place their faith in fate and expect fate to support their own free will. They have a spiritual openness but generally avoid religious dogma that calls for subservience without reason. They are colourful characters and entertaining conversationalists, capable of earnest sincerity and jovial expression, whilst generally well-spoken.

Modern astrology accepts Jupiter as the signature for the personality that is over-confident, over-boisterous, restless, loud and attention seeking. But these are signs of an afflicted Jupiter, whose higher purpose is to inspire balance through modesty and the avoidance of extremes. Thus Lilly includes in his description of a well dignified Jupiter 'bashful… prudent … thankful, virtuous … full of charity and godliness'. The bashfulness he speaks of is based upon a modest expression of confidence that doesn't need to be trumpeted in other people's faces. Where afflicted or badly placed, Jupiter will produce negative traits through excess or weakness. A powerful but poorly dignified Jupiter brings exaggeration and wastefulness. A weak and poorly dignified Jupiter shows a lack of confidence and liberality, the 'hypocritically religious' who struggles to see the bigger picture for himself and clings to structures determined by others, feeling that he is worthy of respect, yet ineffectively demanding it instead of inspiring it.

The manifestation of Jupiter in physical description offers an upright, straight and tall composure. The complexion is clear, the face oval or long but full and fleshy with a high forehead, large eyes (Lilly notes there is often a large space between the eyebrows), and broad, well set teeth. The hair is soft, lustrous and thick, typically auburn-brown or fair with sandy tints and offering the potential for full beards in men. The belly is large and deep and the thighs are strong and well proportioned. Only the feet are described as 'indecent' because of their large size. The overall appearance is described as 'comely', giving the impression of honesty and trustworthiness. Jupiter becomes fleshier and fatter in water signs, taller in air signs, whilst fire signs add curl to the hair. [6]

Professions and types of people signified by Jupiter include all religious figures and deviants of the role of priest - whether inside an organised religion, (ie., curates, bishops, cardinals, vicars), or through attempts to reveal the hidden meaning of natural or spiritual phenomena (ie., dream interpreters, psychoanalysts, astrologers).

It signifies those who bring protection, comfort and relief - doctors, healers and therapists, and those who strive to attain or administer knowledge - scholars, university students, teachers, professors - particularly in the spheres of philosophy, theology or law, and in the pursuit of understanding principles rather than simply remembering facts. In this regard it also governs publishers and the publication of books or educational material (newspapers fall under the rulership of Mercury).

Since its principle is to enlarge and expand, it signifies fame and public interest. It is often prominent in the charts of celebrities, and works effectively in professions concerning advertising, image-building, promotion, public relations, and marketing. If afflicted, it can indicate those who find infamy or notoriety because their misdeeds have caught the public's eye. Its expansive qualities are also evident in its rulership over adventurers, entrepreneurs, risk takers, investors, and explorers.

When dignified, Jupiter can indicate wealthy, powerful people, or those of mature judgement who carry the responsibility for undertaking decisions that affect communities and societies - judges, senators, councillors, chancellors and politicians generally. Because of its association with justice and maintaining balance in society, it is given representation over lawyers, doctors of civil law and barristers.

Being associated with good luck and fortune, Jupiter has some connection to gambling, especially horse racing. In sports and contests it is the natural significator the winner, being a symbol for prizes, awards and triumph. Afflicted, it signifies cheats, (and those who distort the truth through exaggeration), drunkards, and 'society addicts'.

It signifies, generally, friends, allies and benefactors, and men of middle to mature age, where the vitality is still high but the instinct for impulsive reaction has been tempered by experience. Traditional texts also give it rulership over clothiers, woollen-drapers and traders of luxury items. [7]

The places ruled by Jupiter include sacred grounds and artefacts, altars, temples and churches. Places where knowledge is imparted - universities, libraries, colleges, lecture platforms, conference halls - or set aside for debates concerning social issues or delivering speeches to the public - oratories, synods, houses of parliament, assembly halls, town halls, council meeting rooms. Courts and buildings connected to the delivery of law and justice. Through its association with material wealth, banks and building societies.

Jupiter also signifies palaces, and places that demonstrate fine, impressive architecture, marvellous detail or magnificent structure. There is nothing inhibiting or tawdry about Jupiter's signification, it is suggestive of open space, vision, light and natural abundance - a lush garden, an open aspect, mountains; Lilly says those places that are 'neat and sweet'. Since Jupiter rules large wild animals Barbara Watters suggests zoo's and game preserves, but this is more relevant where the animals can roam freely whilst protected. It is significant for whales and in Pisces offers naval strength.

Inside the house Jupiter signifies wardrobes and places where clothes, jewellery and expensive personal possessions are stored. It has signification over wine and beverages that make us feel relaxed and merry, so wine cellars, drinks cabinets, places where wine or sherry glasses are stored. Since it rules sustenance, food stores, especially the tin cupboard; since it rules health, medicine cabinets; since it rules luxury and self-indulgence, the place where scents and bubble baths are stored in the bathroom. Inside the living room or hallway it can signify places near a lush, healthy plant, particularly ivy, or near to ornaments with a religious or symbolic significance - buddhas, crosses, crystals, etc. Jupiter signifies places and things that sparkle with rich colour. It rules tin and has a strong connection with wood, especially oak, ash, birch, beech and hazel, so it can signify furniture or household items made of those materials.

The illnesses of Jupiter include all afflictions that are connected to the circulation of air and blood in the body. These include corruption of the liver, lungs (and illnesses involving the rib cage), and blood circulation (including the heart and veins). The latter includes heart tremors (Jupiter shares signification of the heart and brain with the Sun), palpitations, varicose veins, cramps, or blood rush. Jupiter often shows inflammation and swellings, reminiscent of its principle of excess, as is flatulence which it also signifies. It is said to govern the 'plethoric habit', which is the tendency to have too much of something and is characterised by an excess of blood. Decumbiture charts assess the quality of the blood by Jupiter's location - in water signs it suggests the blood is too watery and thin, in fire signs, overheated and subject to high fever, in earth signs the blood is too thick and circulates poorly, in air signs the blood is excessive and the traditional cure would include opening up a vein.

Al Biruni gives Jupiter rulership over sperm and bone-marrow (it is generally attributed to back pain). It also shares signification over the left ear.

The tastes and aromas associated with Jupiter are those that are sweet or sweet mixed with sour, but always moderate and inoffensive. It governs senses that are delicious, pleasant, comforting, and relaxing. Its sounds are melodious, rich, inspiring or meditational. Herbs attributed to Jupiter are those that relax, calm, loosen (ie, laxatives), and soothe. It governs the healing principle so has signification over herbs that are all-round curatives, such as selfheal (prunella). It has general rulership over fruit, and shares with Venus rulership over soft, sweet fruits, (ie., those without hard skins - apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, etc), and flowers. Its herbs are generally sweet smelling and tall (traditional texts claim those that are light and whose seeds fly with the wind), or known for their nutritious value. Jupiter is also associated with fertile, easily worked soil.

Other herbs include those that help digestion and remove obstruction, purify the lungs or liver, or make men joyful. There is a liberal and relaxing quality in many of the herbs that Jupiter rules. Borage, for example, was known to make men merry in spirits and of course Jupiter rules grapes, raisins and wine.

Jupiter is associated with bees and honey and in this there is an interesting relationship with Jupiter's rulership over the ash tree, which bears a honey-like sticky resin known as manna. It continues to be sold in parts of Greece as a mild laxative but in classical times it was confused with honey and believed to have the same nutritious properties. It appears in the legend the 'golden age' when men were said to have lived on 'honey and acorns', products of the trees that were sacred to Zeus and therefore suggesting that in this bygone age men were more observing of Jupiter's spiritual influence. In classical mythology Zeus is claimed to have been raised on the milk and manna of the nymph of ash tree. Manna has since become a term applied generally to spiritual nourishment of 'divine origin'. [8]

Jupiter also governs the oak of course, which is rich in lore and reputed to attract more lightning than any other tree. The powerful roots of the oak demonstrate an earthly reflection of the power of lightning, mirroring its shape and form. Lightning was seen as Jupiter's heavenly power being drawn down to earth; through the roots of the oak it is seen as dissipating through the earth, imbuing that tree and its surrounding environment with Jupiter's essence.

Colours attributed to Jupiter include sea-green, blue, or purple; purple being particular related to Jupiter's imperial influence in classical times. Lilly also suggests a mixture of yellow and green, but Jupiter has been associated with a wide range of rich colours and minerals that glitter, sparkle, or reflect light.


Lightning and its inverted image,
showing the similarity of form with tree roots

Jupiter through a Telescope

Jupiter is so large that its mass is about twice the size of all the other planets put together. Since its astrological principle is to expand and deny the presence of boundaries, it is interesting to muse upon the fact that Jupiter is a gaseous plant with no physical boundary of its own. It is as large as a gaseous planet is capable of being - if it were any larger its gravity would force it to condense into itself.

In astronomical terms Jupiter is indeed a creative planet, radiating its own power and emitting much more energy into space than it absorbs from the Sun. It is pleasing to note that the planet named after the mythological ruler of lightning is surrounded by incredible lightning storms that dwarf anything we can experience here on Earth. The bolts are hundreds of miles long and carry thousands of millions of watts of energy. Its nearest moon Io acts like a massive electrical generator and the atmosphere between the two is filled with titanic amounts power, equivalent to trillions of 'jovian lightning' bolts. The famous 'red spot' is itself a giant hurricane, twice the size of earth and known to have been raging for over 300 years.

In astronomy Jupiter is every bit as prolific in its offspring as it is in astrology and myth. It has been referred to as a mini Solar System because of the thousands of small bodies it directly controls through its gravitational pull. These include 16 named moons, the largest and best known being the four 'Galilean Moons' - so named because they were discovered by Galileo. The evidence of objects orbiting a celestial body other than Earth convinced Galileo that the geocentric view of the universe was an inadequate model of motion in space and led him to argue in favour of the heliocentricity in support of Copernicus. The discovery of Jupiter's moons on January 7, 1610 therefore heralded momentous religious and scientific change. The Moons are named Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, in honour of Zeus' mythological consorts, apparently at the suggestion of Kepler. [9]

The 16 named moons include:
  • Adrastea  -  discovered by Jewitt in 1979
  • Amalthea - discovered by Barnard in 1892
  • Ananke  -  discovered by Nicholson in 1951
  • Callisto   -  discovered by Galileo in 1610
  • Carme  -  discovered by Nicholson in 1938
  • Elara  -  discovered by Perrine in 1904   
  • Europa  -  discovered by Galileo in 1610
  • Ganymede - discovered by Galileo in 1610
  • Himalia  -  discovered by Perrine in1904
  • Io  -  discovered by Galileo in 1610
  • Leda  -  discovered by Kowal in 1974
  • Lysithea  -  discovered by Nicholson in 1904
  • Metis  -  discovered by Synnott in 1979
  • Pasiphae - discovered by Mellotte in 1908
  • Sinope - discovered by Nicholson in 1914
  • Thebe - discovered by Synnott in 1979 
Jupiter's 'kingdom' also includes many irregular satellites and an increasing number of recently discovered moon's which remain, so far, unnamed. At the moment, there are 63 significant moons and satellites known to orbit this incredibly powerful planet.

Astronomical Data

Orbital Period: 11.9 years
Synodic Period: 399 days
Period of Axial Rotation: 9 hours, 55 minutes
Greatest Latitude: 1° 38'
Mean daily Motion: 5'
Diameter: 89,000 miles (144,000 km)
Volume (Earth = 1): 1319
Mass (Earth = 1): 318
Density (water = 1): 1.3
Surface Gravity (Earth = 1): 2.6
Distance from Sun: 460 - 507 million miles (741 - 816 million km)
Distance from Earth 400 - 580 million miles (650 - 930 million km)
Greatest Magnitude: -2.8
Number of Satellites: 4 main moons, plus dozens of smaller satellites

Notes & References:

J.G. Frazer's The Golden Bough (Macmillan Press Ltd., 1922), explores in detail the early relationship between priestly responsibilities and royal power. Most ancient kings were attributed to the highest order of priesthood, and drew their authority from a divine source, for whom they acted as a living representative.
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Dylan Warren-Davis, in 'Decumbiture and Humoral Physiology' (Traditional Astrologer Magazine, Ascella Publications, Issue 2, Autumn 1993, p.4), writes:

A physician in the 17th century drew the symbol for Jupiter at the head of the paper before writing the list of medication for the patient. Jupiter symbolises the higher intuitive mind and those people such as priests, philosophers and sages who draw down the inspiration of the spiritual realm and communicate it to humanity in the mundane world. Thus, 'before writing' [pre-scription], the physician performed an invocation asking the Lord Jupiter for guidance and inspiration in formulating the list of medicines.... It is interesting to reflect on how the inner meaning of the symbol is now obscure, while its outer form has been corrupted by tradition becoming merely the symbol for the 'prescription'.
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The crown and sceptre, still used to inaugurate the new king or queen in England, are symbols of the supernatural power that resides in the monarch. Peter Lorie, in Superstitions: Ancient Lore and Sources, (Simon & Schuster, 1992, p.149), writes:

Kings, only 200 years in our past, were believed to possess healing powers, and with the laying on of hands they could cure 'the King's Evil', a disease also known as scrofula, and one that brought unpleasant swellings to the throat.
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For the wild, exhuberant nature of Zeus, see: Zeus - the Greek Jupiter, by Jackie Slevin Back to text.

For further information on Tinia see Etruscan Religion Back to text.

The physical form being expected to replicate the spiritual essence, the tall, upright and straight composure depicted through Jupiter's signification reflects anticipated moral traits. Most of the physical characteristics we attribute to the planets carry symbolic meaning, for example, the belly being deep and large in Jupiter's signification expresses the capacity to feel for others, the thick hair demonstrates the principles of growth and abundance. We might wonder about the symbolic association between a planet reputed to bestow fertility and fecundity as well as large feet!

Jupiter's connection with the thigh is interesting. We often assume this derives from Sagittarius but Jupiter was associated with the thigh long before its rulership over Sagittarius was established. Homer's poems show that in sacrificial homage to Zeus the thigh of the ceremonial beast was the most sacred offering. Biblical passages also reveal that the thigh, in particular the right thigh, was allocated to the priest.

Knud Mariboe, in his Encylopedia of the Celts, explains the relevance of the thigh:

Tradition insisted that it was the movement of the thigh which permitted man to walk as an erect being: thus, the thigh represented the inner power of movement, and by extension all movement connected with human aspiration. Since the greatest aspirations were always ideals, and linked with the wish to learn more - in medieval terms, to move out more closely to God - Sagittarius was soon linked with education and with the church, or religious life.

The principle clearly belongs to Jupiter, which has lent this aspect to Sagittarius, and reveals a deeper meaning to the legend that Pythagoras had a golden thigh.
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The basis of Jupiter's rulership over clothiers and woollen-drapers seems obsure. In some respects it is is explained as a rulership over 'fineries'. Wool however, along with cotton and linen, are cloths of spiritual significance to ancient and classical societies, wool in particular being used by priests to annoint and cleanse. Al Biruni gives Pisces significance over cotton, but Jupiter rulership over clothing generally.
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See the illuminating article The Ash Tree in Indo-European Culture by Darl J. Dumont - Mankind Quarterly, Volume XXXII, Number 4, Summer 1992, pp. 323-336.

The ash, like the oak, was believed to attract lightning, and was used in European fire and rain-making ceremonies. "The ash courts the flash" is a remnant saying. Other superstitions attached to the ash tree include the belief that tools and spears made of ash were more powerful and enabled greater efficiency and that the failing of a crop of ash bode bad tidings for the priest or king.
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Online reproduction of the documents that relate to Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons are available at The Discovery of the Galilean Satellites by Ron Baalke
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See also:

Jupiter in Myth and Occult Philosophy by David McCann

© Deborah Houlding, February 2004.

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