Jupiter: the Lord of Plenty

Jupiter
Lord of Plenty
exploration of astro-symbolism by

Al-Qabisi on Jupiter


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

Fundamental Jupiter


Drop cap 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, according to the historical view of the cosmos, its sphere lies between the cooling influence of Saturn and the burning power of Mars. It brings no destructive extremes to threaten vitality, but is defined as ‘warming and moistening’, an active combination of qualities that draws components together harmoniously, supporting increase and growth. Jupiter is the ‘Greater Benefic’ because its essential nature is 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 eases our awareness of limitations and augments our sense of self-worth, filling us with confidence, optimism and the joy of life. As it breaks down boundaries that have arisen through fear, life appears more spacious and colourful and we feel a little luckier, so are more prepared to take a risk and approach life as a player in a game. Jupiter’s essential nature is to enlarge and inflate; however, taken to the extreme, these principles lead 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, because its liberating influence gives greater freedom to think and act for ourselves, less inhibited by closed options that limit our prospects and so determine our choices for us. Whilst this is relaxing and generally pleasant, increased freedom calls for greater conscious awareness of what we do, why we do it, and how to balance the urge for instant gratification against the need to preserve for the future. If we fail to exercise caution and moderation, we might exploit unwise opportunities that later lead to financial failure, spiritual dissatisfaction, or the boredom and depression that accompany surfeit and over-indulgence. Jupiter doesn’t offer revenge but allows us to be the architects of our own destruction, freely offering enough rope to let us hang ourselves if we ask for it. As the supplier of the endless, bounteous feast, the ‘Greater Fortune’ knows that those whose greed exceeds necessity end up sick and sorry when they fail to self-impose propriety.

As well as freedom, Jupiter is a symbol of natural justice – its punishment is not so much that enforced from without as that which flows from the consequences of our own choices, and in this sense it ultimately fosters a maturity of mind that appreciates the value of restraint. Having no ability to scapegoat others for our sufferings forces us to take responsibility and realise how destructive freedom can become when unaccompanied by sagacity and liability. Jupiter’s true astrological principle is the evolution of consciousness, which is reflected in its natural signification of philosophers, priests, religious leaders, judges, champions of moral values, and those who seek to live by higher principles. Its symbolism embodies a deeply spiritual essence that strives for a balanced appreciation of untamed nature (honouring the individual creative will) and commitment to ‘Divine Illumination’, which expects subservience to the Higher Mind. We see this in the symbol for Jupiter, which shows the crescent of spirit being anchored into the cross of matter: a signature of Divine Wisdom becoming grounded in earthly concerns.

Such elevated concern gives Jupiter a noble and regal reputation, so unless it is weakened or afflicted, it naturally represents people who wield influence, hold positions of trust or conduct themselves with honour. In ancient times, kings were assumed to have priestly powers because they were perceived to be a Figurehead through which the Divine Will manifests on earth.1 Both priests and the ‘Divine King’ were expected to have the power to heal by their touch, being agents of Jupiter’s healing, soothing powers. Modern medicine bears shadows of this belief in the symbol used to represent a pharmaceutical prescription, which was 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. Anciently, this oath was sworn upon the sceptre of Jupiter, nowadays, we do it on a bible or a holy book – an artefact of Jupiter nonetheless.

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 can outshine Jupiter at times, but Venus is constricted to morning and evening appearances and can never dominate the sky from the middle of heaven. Jupiter’s visible luminosity portrays vitality, power, and freedom of will. Depictions of the Roman god Jupiter 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 while the sceptre draws divine inspiration down to earth. For the Greek form, Zeus, the sceptre 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 any 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 becomes the source of the undoing that returns us to chains.4


Jupiter in Psychological Astrology


Drop cap 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 and giving us room to manoeuvre. As limitations that previously held us in check feel relaxed, we expand to fill the void, opening up different perspectives and new areas of interest.

Jupiter transits often coincide with experiences that extend 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. Often, Jupiter brings more direct opportunities for growth, through business proposals and financial benefits.

The problems inherent in Jupiter transits arise from how 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 overconfident investment made under the influence of Jupiter may become a cause for fear and anxiety under the 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 other planetary lens. By captivating our interest in the potential of what something could be, we often blur the particulars, smoothing out inconsistencies to bring cohesion to the whole. Jupiter is the master of marketing; in its negative expression, the slick salesman who sells the dream and tells you to worry about the details later. It’s a live-for-the-moment principle, a time when we open up to self-indulgence and 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 reality is poorly grounded or fails to live up to expectations.

Jupiter can only bring a sense of increase to those who have the will to expand. Where opportunities have previously existed unexploited, Jupiter only brings more of the same. So another negative expression of Jupiter is the boredom and dissatisfaction felt by those needing the defining influence of pressure, stress and deadlines to give an 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 from this planet fails to manifest, blocked by the destructive effects of spiritual or physical stagnation and satiety.


Jupiter’s Sign Rulerships


Drop cap 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, and 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 receptiveness to the influence of others, so where Jupiter is dried, it is more self-directed and concerned with 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 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 is more generally directed towards a defined focus.

In Pisces, Jupiter’s energies are cooled and moistened – empathy and sensitivity are 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


Drop cap The significations of Jupiter in astrological interpretation are as follows:

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 on 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 Etruscan god Tinia, their 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 and buoyancy. If Jupiter is dignified and well placed, they are signified 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, or the parent who believes in giving children the freedom to discover their own sense of morality. The personality is trusting and trustworthy, indulgent and generous to one’s self and others. Jupiter-types often believe there is a fundamental ‘meaning’ behind everything that happens, so they place their faith in fate and expect destiny 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.

More negatively, Jupiter is the signature of a 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. This is why the 17th-century astrologer William 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 on a modest expression of confidence that doesn’t need to be trumpeted in other people’s faces. Where afflicted or badly placed, Jupiter produces negative traits through excess or weakness of its essential principle: 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’ person who struggles to see the bigger picture and clings to structures determined by others, feeling unworthy 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 and 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 deviations of the role of priest – whether inside an organised religion, (i.e., curates, bishops, cardinals, vicars), or through attempts to reveal the hidden meaning of natural or spiritual phenomena (i.e., dream interpreters, psychoanalysts, counsellors, astrologers). It also 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 delving into data or details. In this regard, it also governs publishers and the publication of books or educational material (more mundane media and newspapers fall under the rulership of Mercury).

Since its principle is to enlarge and expand, Jupiter also 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 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 judgment who carry the responsibility for making 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 of 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’.

More generally, it signifies, friends, allies and benefactors, and people 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); Also, courts and buildings connected to the delivery of law and justice; And 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 zoos and game preserves, but this is more relevant where the animals can roam freely whilst protected. It is significant for whales, and when in Pisces it is said to offer naval strength.

Inside the house, Jupiter signifies wardrobes and places where clothes, jewellery and expensive personal possessions are stored. It has significance over wine and beverages that make us relaxed and merry, so wine cellars, drinks cabinets, and 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 luxury items are stored in the bathroom. Inside the living room or hallway, it can signify places near a lush, healthy plant (particularly ivy) or near 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 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 (laxatives), and soothe. It governs the healing principle, so it has significance over herbs that are all-around curatives, such as selfheal (prunella). It has general rulership over fruit and shares with Venus rulership over soft, sweet fruits (i.e., 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 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; dissipating through the earth through the roots of the oak, 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 bright light.


   

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



Jupiter the Planet


Drop cap 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 on how 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 of power, equivalent to trillions of ‘jovian lightning’ bolts. The famous ‘red spot’ is itself a giant hurricane, twice the size of the 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 57 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 heliocentricity, in support of the theory proposed by 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, at the suggestion of Johannes Kepler.9

Jupiter’s ‘kingdom’ also includes many irregular satellites and an increasing number of recently discovered moons which are now so voluminous that the International Astronomical Union has decided new discoveries will no longer be given mythological names unless they are of particular scientific interest. At the moment, 95 significant moons and satellites are known to orbit this incredibly powerful planet. The 16 largest named moons are listed below – a complete list is provided on the Nasa website.

Main Jupiter Moons:


  • 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 



Astronomical Data


Orbital Period: 11.9 years (*this is the average time it takes to traverse the zodiac)
Average transit of zodiac sign:     1 year
Synodic Period: 399 days
Period of Axial Rotation: 9 hours, 55 minutes
Greatest Latitude: 1° 38'
Mean daily Motion: 5'
Fastest daily Motion: 14' 34"
Average retrograde period: 4 mths yearly
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 a host of smaller moons and satellites


Extract from the Skyscript Newsletter #7; March 2023, offering an annotated translation of
'On the Nature of Jupiter' from chapter II of Al Qabisi's Introduction to Astrology

NOTES & REFERENCES:
1 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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2 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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3 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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4 See also Jupiter in Myth and Occult Philosophy by David McCann. For the wild, exhuberant nature of Zeus, see: Zeus - the Greek Jupiter, by Jackie Slevin.
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5 For further information on Tinia see Etruscan Religion.
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6 The physical form is expected to replicate the spiritual essence, so 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 and its association with large feet!

Jupiter's symbolic 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 [link via Wayback Machine], explains the ancient cultural significance 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 also reveals a deeper meaning to the legend that Pythagoras had a golden thigh.
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7 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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8 See 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. Back to text

9 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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© Deborah Houlding.
This article was originally published on this website on 19 February 2004.