Over a hearty but greasy breakfast, a friend and I discussed our Jupiter returns (in Cancer, surprise) and that it wasn’t quite what we expected. With Jupiter, you expect some mighty fine stuff to happen.
Jupiter, my friends, is the ancient astrological great benefic bestowing good upon all like Santa Claus who bestows gifts, a Jupiter figure who visits as the sun moves from Sagittarius (when Santa makes all those gifts and sends them to Walmart) into Capricorn (when Santa must then pay off his hardware store credit cards).
At an astrological conference a Saturn return ago (long time), an astrologer pointed out that Jupiter was not “good” or “bad” but bestowed its Jupiter trait of expansion upon what it finds.
If you have planted a seed in the ground, Jupiter expansion can help it grow into a big tomato.
If you have a lump in some part of your body, Jupiter expansion might be the opposite of what you want.
Saturn, in contrast to Jupiter, is an ancient malefic bestowing hardship and contraction upon what it finds.
Saturn contraction on our little tomato seed might prevent it from growing into a juicy beefsteak.
The lump in our body welcomes the contracting principle of Saturn. When you diet, you also enjoy a little Saturn – what is skinny if not Saturn?
There is a Chinese story of a man who experiences events that others perceive as “good” or “bad.” Sai Weng replies to the praise and pity with equal temperance.
A man who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day for no reason, his horse ran away to the nomads across the border. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, “What makes you so sure this isn’t a blessing?” Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid nomad stallion. Everyone congratulated him, but his father said, “What makes you so sure this isn’t a disaster?” Their household was richer by a fine horse, which the son loved to ride. One day he fell and broke his hip. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, “What makes you so sure this isn’t a blessing?”
A year later the nomads came in force across the border, and every able-bodied man took his bow and went into battle. The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten men. Only because the son was lame did father and son survive to take care of each other. Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing: the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed.
Good Planet, Bad Planet
In a piece of prose by Seng-Ts’an in Buddhist Scriptures, he says:
. . . To set up what you like against what you dislike, that is the disease of the mind . . .
This wisdom might be applied in the study of astrology. When we view Jupiter as expansion and Saturn as contraction, there is no value judgment.
Your property will expand. That can mean building a deck or it can mean that you will soon be aware of a sinkhole in the backyard.
Your property will contract. That can mean someone lays claim to your land or it can mean that you move into that cozy retirement home and leave lawn mowing to the young dads.
The problem for us astrologers is that if we leave our astrological interpretation to the properties of the planets without trying to determine the “good” or “bad” outcome, we may leave our inquisitive questioners wanting more.
Is that good or bad?