Jupiter and Saturn: More or Less?

Jupiter and Saturn are the intermediate planets that serve as a bridge between the inner planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars, and the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The inner planets are personal, and have a key role to play in every day of the person’s life. Jupiter and Saturn, by contrast, are social planets. They endow a person with qualities that are of less immediate consequence than the inner planets, but more broad-ranging, and of deeper impact over time. Since these planets stay in the same sign for much longer than the inner planets, large groups of people will share the same sign Jupiter or Saturn within a given time period than they would share the same sign inner planets within that time period. This means, interpreting these planets in their signs is less crucial than seeing how they aspect other, inner planets in the chart.

Jupiter is the principle of expansion: the more the better! It expands and exaggerates everything it touches. It is also the principle of belief and faith, of optimism and grace, of benevolence and righteous action. Of course, because it also exaggerates, righteous action could easily turn into zealotry or bigotry if other factors permit. Expansion without limit is dangerous, and here’s where Saturn plays an important role, that of imposing limitations. Saturn is the principle of restriction, boundaries, form and structure, time and maturity, discipline and reservation. But without Jupiter’s faith and good cheer, Saturn can turn one into a cynic, a depressed, pessimistic, perhaps even fearful demeanor.

In horoscope interpretation, looking at the sign position of Jupiter or Saturn is usually not productive. I personally don’t know of much to say that would be impactful by reading off the properties of Jupiter or Saturn in a sign. These planets are much more significant in their aspects to other planets.

Jupiter is a nurturing planet in a different way than the Moon. While Moon nurtures at the basic emotional and practical level – love, food, clothing , shelter – Jupiter nurtures at the spiritual level. And by spiritual I don’t mean esoteric, I mean as in the usage “spirited”, or full of enthusiasm and faith. Jupiter is capable of promoting someone’s well-being for the sheer sake of doing it, with no expectation of reward. It is a teacher in the whole sense, that it uplifts the student and instills in them a zest for learning. Jupiter in Cancer (ruled by the Moon) brings Jupiter’s spiritual nurturing quality to the highest expression. The word “Guru” in Sanskrit is in fact a name for Jupiter that conveys exactly these qualities of spiritual nourishment.

Jupiter’s expansiveness combined with its religious inclinations can lend the person a messianic quality, as if they are being spoken to directly by God. This can be a very inflated self-image that may be grating on others who see the human side of the person somewhat more clearly than the person themselves. Much harm can be caused by such a person if there are not proper sanity checks placed on their actions. When looking at the Jupiter in a horoscope, always look for signs of inflation or grandiosity. However, Jupiter being such a powerful force, circumstances might slow them down with practical obstacles, but deep down the sense of being right will likely persist strong as ever.

Saturn is the principle of contraction, the idea of less is more. This principle finds amplification in several ways. Saturn’s influence can make a person frugal (if the less is more principle applies to finances), extremely careful about their diet (applies to food intake), choosing depth instead of breadth in activities, etc. Jupiter’s expansiveness can make someone spread themselves too thin, Saturn’s constraint lends itself to choosing a limited number of activities in which they can excel. Saturn lends humility, a certain detachment from the world even though it is a practical planet (think of detachment as constraining one’s involvement with the world).

In contrast to Jupiter’s blind faith, Saturn is circumspect. Saturn says “get real”, and is associated with caution and skepticism. Saturn’s greatest lessons, and its greatest benefits, come with maturation. The benefit of Saturn is in making things permanent, and if one follows a path of patient construction, Saturn can lend its hand in making the person’s work have a lasting impression. There is a sense of permanence to Saturn in many ways that is absent with Jupiter. This is especially true of the transits of Jupiter and Saturn (used in prediction) — Jupiter’s transit come and go quickly, with abrupt spikes and abrupt drops, while Saturn’s transits linger, cause a deeper impact, and leave a lasting impression.

It is always advisable to look at Jupiter and Saturn together. Is one stronger than the other, such as by being in its own sign? Is one more influential on the inner planets than the other, via aspects or because those planets are placed in its sign? So, for instance, a horoscope with Mercury and Mars in Capricorn (sign ruled by Saturn) would be greatly influenced by Saturnian energy, while another with these planets in Sagittarius (sign rules by Jupiter) will be distinctly more Jupiterian. Or, if Saturn is strongly connected to several planets through aspects, and Jupiter is not, then the Saturnian significations find greater and more consistent expression in life. There is more restraint than exuberance, more conservative behavior than risk-taking, and so on. If both Jupiter and Saturn are both strong, then there is more of a chance to temper the excess of Jupiter with the prudence of Saturn, while the skepticism of Saturn will be challenged by the faith of Jupiter.

I was thinking of public figures that might strongly embody Jupiter or Saturn, and one particular person that came to mind is the actress Kate Winslet. The thing about Winslet that strikes me is her fearlessness in playing oddball characters, or taking on roles that are deliberately unglamorous or unflattering. She has consistently taken this kind of risk with her career, and has mostly benefited it. This is all very Jupiterian, and I expected to see Jupiter much stronger than Saturn in her horoscope. And this is indeed true. Jupiter is in Aries, Saturn is in Leo, so neither planet is in its own sign. But Jupiter aspects the Sun, Moon, Mercury (opposition), and Mars (sextile), while Saturn aspects none of the luminaries or inner planets. Clearly, there is an overwhelming Jupiterian influence. “I wouldn’t dream of working on something that didn’t make my gut rumble and my heart want to explode.” … “I don’t believe in sort of holding back, you know, life isn’t a dress rehearsal.” More is more, alright!

From Kate Winslet my mind moved to Daniel Day-Lewis, as an example of Saturnian discrimination, restraint, and patient construction. According to Wikipedia: “He is one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only six films since 1998, with as many as five years between roles.” He is famous for immersing himself deeply in his roles. “He would often remain completely in character throughout the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health.” After 1997, “Day-Lewis retired from acting for three years, taking up a new profession as an apprentice shoe-maker in Italy.” Honing a craft under someone’s tutelage, as an adult, is in my opinion, a decidedly Saturnian move. Also, his extraordinarily limited involvement with movies (despite winning multiple Oscars) and this faux retirement demonstrates the side of Saturn that detaches itself from the world, which in this case is the world of movies.

Daniel Day-Lewis was born on April 29, 1957. Here are the Ephemeris positions of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as of midnight (UT 00:00) of his birthday. (He was born in London, so these positions are for midnight at his birth place.)

Sun08 Tau 24
Moon26 Ari 41 (?)
Mercury18 Tau 49
Venus12 Tau 11
Mars27 Gem 05
Jupiter26 Vir 28
Saturn13 Sag 14

At the time of his birth, was the Moon still in Aries, and had moved into Taurus? (See the post on the Moon’s rate of motion). We don’t know for a fact since there is no published birth time for him. My intuitive take is that he was born late enough on that day that his Moon had moved into Taurus.

So let’s assess Jupiter vis-a-vis Saturn. Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn is in Sagittarius, so neither is in its own sign. None of the other planets are in Jupiter’s sign, or Saturn’s. How about aspects? I am going to limit orbs to under 10 degrees for a more focused perspective. Jupiter is definitely making a square to Mars, with a very tight orb of less than a degree of arc. Jupiter is also making a trine to Mercury, with an orb of a little over 8 degrees. It does not make an aspect with the Sun or Venus, which are also in Taurus, because the orbs are too wide. And it won’t make an aspect with the Moon, because even if the Moon is in Taurus, it can only go as far as 9 degrees of Taurus, which is its position as of midnight of April 30. Saturn does not make any aspect with any of the planets. The only possibility is an opposition to Mars, but the orb is nearly 14 degrees, which is well over our limit of 10 degrees.

We were expecting to see a whole lot of Saturn influence, but it is clear that Jupiter is much more more connected with the other planets. So what gives?

The single most important precept of astrology is that you “bring the life to astrology” (as famously put by the celebrated astrologer Noel Tyl), instead or bringing astrology to the life. Meaning, first get a good understanding of how the life is being lived, and then match it to the horoscope. Rather than starting with the horoscope, and trying to force it on the life in terms of whether this or that “should” happen. So in the case of Daniel Day-Lewis, we can see that in whatever way the Jupiter aspects are actually manifesting in his life, they are not indicative of how he has approached his profession, which is doubtless Saturnian.

What we can logically infer is that Saturn must be a lot more strongly associated with his profession than Jupiter, and this association is to be seen in factors other than the connections we have seen anove. Unfortunately we don’t have his time of birth, so we can’t construct his full horoscope, which would have allowed us to assess the influence of Saturn on the Midheaven (or MC), which is highly indicative of professional aspiration. (In Kate Winslet’s case, we don’t have the full horoscope either, but because Jupiter aspected her Sun and Moon, which strongly influence all aspects of life, the Jupiterian quality made its presence felt in her profession as well.)

Both Jupiter and Saturn find better integration in the life with age. Their influences have a direct bearing on your impact on the world. With age, we learn to concentrate our increasingly limited energies in the most essential parts of life, starting with family. With the wisdom (Jupiter) gained from repeated experiences (Saturn), you get to understand life and cope better by channeling the Jupiterian energies in constructive ways so as to make them count (Saturn), and by discriminating (Saturn) between opportunities (Jupiter) to determine the best path to go forward at all times.


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