On November 8, 2018, two days past the still contested U.S. election, Jupiter left Scorpio for Sagittarius, where it will remain until December 2, 2019. This shift heralded an alteration in the cultural atmosphere, beginning to lift us out of the slog of deep emotional gunk that has been surfacing during the past year as Jupiter transited through Scorpio. This gunk, residue from the egregious uses of power, what we call “power over” others — sexually, emotionally, economically — has been surfacing from deep below, like a long suppressed volcano. Indeed, one might say that the disgusting, and it turns out, false sexual accusations leveled at Justice Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court hearings climaxed this Jupiter in Scorpio period.
But Scorpio is not done. Check out the inception chart for Jupiter in Sagittarius, where Jupiter is conjunct Moon in late Scorpio, and nearby Sun conjunct the Ascendant, also both in Scorpio.
The inception chart of any planetary ingress sets the stage for the energies activated during the transit of that planet through its new sign.
Notice also, in this chart, that Moon (and more widely, Jupiter) are both square Mars in Aquarius, conjunct the root point of the chart.
I tend to identify Mars in Aquarius here with the fractious, and fracturing, mass mind, the huge splits that have developed within our society that tend to be ideological in nature. As someone put it recently on twitter: For the liberal left, “nationalism” means racism; for the conservative right, “nationalism” means not globalism: and never the twain shall meet!
The square between Scorpio Moon and Aquarian Mars: huge emotional energies infuse ideological splits. It’s as if no one is in his or her “right mind” during this time, but instead overwhelmed with deep painful feelings that unless we consciously process them, tend to make us furiously “act out” mentally against others who “disagree.” What happened to civil discourse? I doubt it will return any time soon.
During this entire Jupiter in Sagittarius period, we are charged with the task of clearing out the sticky emotional Scorpio mess that has besieged us, culturally and personally. And, if we’re not careful, instead of actually doing that, we will instead, unconsciously flip from our pain-filled emotional bodies into our “rational” left brains. In other words, rather than consciously process our own feelings so that they can dissolve, we will instead tend to want to “figure out” what happened, and who’s right, who’s wrong, all based on ideologies that either we make up as we go along, or more likely, absorb from others, which we then utilize in turn as guns, to shoot down any who comes to an “opposite” conclusion!
Which brings me to Jupiter in Sagittarius, the sign Jupiter rules. This position renders Jupiter more powerful in this sign than in any other. Jupiter symbolizes all that is large, and growing; in Sagittarius, that can signify largess, generosity of spirit, openness of intelligence, ever-expanding perspectives, or the increase of rigid, dogmatic points of view, all of which consider themselves to be right, and so everybody else is wrong. Yes, either attitude is possible with Jupiter in Sagittarius, either increased openness or increased bigotry. Which attitude you hold depends on how aware you are of the way your own mind/body/spirit works, and thus, capable of consciously changing the way it works, if needed in order not to put up a wall against others.
In other words, there’s an evolved way of utilizing Jupiter in Sagittarius and there is an unevolved way of working with this placement. As a person with the Sun, Ascendant, and Mars all in Sagittarius, believe me, I know what I’m talking about, as I’ve swung both ways.
I have acted out as the unevolved Sagittarian, several times in my life, both for prolonged periods. The first when I was young, as a saintly Roman Catholic girl, with “God” in my head judging my every move according to rules given me from outside. The theology, the ideology, of Catholicism held me strictly in its cage of oppression; and of course I didn’t know it. I was born into that “faith” tradition, baptized as an infant, mind-controlled to “be-LIE-ve everything the nuns told me in grammar school, scared of sin, and especially frightened for my friends who weren’t Catholic, because, no matter what, they would go to hell!
At some point in my early 20s, this changed. Here’s one story from that time which is relevant, though I don’t know if I can say it was “the cause.”
I was a first year doctoral student in philosophy at Boston University, taking a class on Formal Boolean Logic. All semester long, the teacher kept pointing to formulas: “if we go this way we end up in contradiction;” or “if we go that way we end up in contradiction.” I can no longer remember the train of thinking that led him to these conclusions, but it was obvious to everyone in the class that if we end up in contradiction, it’s bad, very bad.
Something didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t know what it was. But I finally did dare to raise my hand. And when I did, I am reminded now, of what happened when I had earlier dared to raise my hand as a six year old, asking my teacher, in a discussion on arithmetic: “But, but . . . what is a number?” and watching Sister Bernita stare at me, for a long long time, before finally answering: “That is not a question, dear.”
And now, as a young woman, I was finding myself asking another, apparently devastatingly unreal question: “But, but . . . what’s wrong with contradiction?” Once again, the teacher, this time a middle-aged professor, stared at me, for a long time, and his face got red and seemed to balloon from inside. Finally, he sputtered: “BECAUSE FROM A CONTRADICTION, ANYTHING FOLLOWS, ANYTHING!”
That’s it! From that moment on, I was freed, not just from the conceptual helmet of Catholicism, but from religiously “following the rules” of logic itself! In time I would learn to acknowledge the “truth” of both sides of any “contradiction,” in the sense that their presence together constitutes a paradox, and as the great physicist Niels Bohr put it: “The opposite of one great truth is another great truth.”
I am reminded of this now, when a dear young friend of mine tells me that his girl friend has just broken up with him. Why? Because, he says she told him, they hold different world-views. I asked him what precipitated the break-up. “We were having a discussion about choices. I said there were times when two alternative paths presented themselves , both equal in that both with negative and positive aspects, and it wasn’t obvious to me which to choose. But I had to choose one or the other.” She said, ‘No that is not correct. Whatever choice you made is the only one you could have made.'”
How amazing, that a couple could break up over such an abstract philosophical discussion! He says the fact that they have different world-views doesn’t matter to him. That all relationships require compromise. She says no, this belief is the most important one in my life, and I cannot compromise it by remaining in relationship with you.
A few weeks before that, she had noticed herself becoming more vulnerable emotionally to him, and considered breaking up with him then. But she caught herself, recognizing that she was scared of her own vulnerability.
This time her powerful belief system won out over her vulnerability.
Is their relationship really over? Who knows. We’ll see. But in any case, this discussion illustrates Jupiter in Sagittarius quite beautifully. The woman, who, by the way, has her Sun in Sagittarius, decided that her (Sagittarian) belief system was so important that it would rule her life. She illustrates a person who is wearing a cemented conceptual helmet. one that dogmatically dictates both thought and behavior.
I told my young friend: “You are both right. This paradox between her view and your view of free will is one philosophers have struggled with for centuries. As if they could — and should — come down on one side or the other! Is there free will, or is there not? From a 3-D point of view, there is free will: in fact, our lives string themselves out as a result of a series of conscious and/or unconscious choices. From a higher dimensional point of view, what we did in fact choose to do feels inevitable, the only choice we could have made.
When we find ourselves able to entertain two sides of any opposition, any contradiction, any choice, feeling and knowing the consequences of each as real and of value; when we find ourselves able to do as Niels Bohr did, recognize that the “opposite” of one great truth is another great truth, then we have opened into a spaciousness larger than any of our choices, any of our perspectives on our choices. We open to infinity. And that, my friends, is what we really fear. The spaciousness that has no end and no beginning, but just IS.
Let me bring this discussion back now, to me, my own evolutionary process. For though I realized, thanks to the huge emotional outburst from my logic teacher, that “contradiction” is used to keep us inside a certain conceptual helmet (in my case, that of the western philosophical tradition) way back in my early 20s, I did not then realize this with every fiber in my being, so that it altered my own behavior. How do I know? Because in my late 30s I became a “peace activist,” carrying the flaming torch of righteousness, nasty to anyone who dared oppose me, or ignore me.
And it was finally, about a year later, after speaking at innumerable public events and pissing off my audiences routinely, that I finally sat down with myself and realized: I had become a violent peace activist! A living contradiction!
From that moment on, I knew that I needed to embrace this ghastly fact about myself, and to work to heal myself so that I would no longer cause the very wars that I was aiming, I thought, to prevent.
So too, here, with this young friend and his now ex-girlfriend. She does not realize that her dogmatic attitude is what’s preventing her from connecting. She doesn’t recognize the contradiction between how she acts and how she thinks. For her overriding principle is that one must “surrender” to the present moment. And yet she has cemented “surrender” into an ideology. Yep! Another living contradiction, worth plumbing for its riches. I hope she finds her way to do so..
And what does this convoluted discussion have to do with Jupiter in Sagittarius? Well, during this period of heightened philosophical/ideological intensity, for that is what it will become during this coming year, we will be asked to “come down on one side or the other” of many disputes as to values, meaning, perspectives, truth, and so on. And we will be encouraged to fight one another over whose truth is the right one. We will be asked to banish any “contradiction” in the way we think.
If we allow ourselves to be convinced by any argument over whose truth is the right one, then we will have fallen into the spell of the unevolved use of Jupiter in Sagittarius. We will end up ideologues, rigid, dogmatic, and judgmental of anyone else who doesn’t “be-LIE-ve” as we do.
On the other hand, if we can learn to deliberately notice contradictions as they arise, and notice how we do tend to want to come down on one side or the other, but then, learn to catch ourselves before doing so; if we can learn to inhabit the space between each of the points that a contradiction or polarity implies, then we can free ourselves, learn to whoosh out into the infinity that holds us all in its embrace, both those who are pro and those who are con, both those with tight conceptual helmets, and those who would rather, like us, shake out our hair and open to the higher understanding that can continue to increase with age.
At 75 years now, I feel grateful to that 30+ self who recognized the contradiction between her thought and behavior as a violent peace activist, and who worked assiduously, for the next seven years to heal that opposition within herself, not by opposing violence, but by recognizing its roots in the need to act rather than just sit passively by as men and women continue to kill each other over whose idea was the right one, communist/socialist or capitalist.
Both ideologies, when taken to extremes, are crazily off, leading to either total selfishness (capitalism) or total abnegation of the self (communism). What is the space between the two poles? How can we open to the virtues of both systems and hold them in dynamic balance without coming down on one side or the other? How can we enlarge our own view of the world to include contractions within it as nodes, growing points leading to further evolutionary development?
During this Jupiter in Sagittarius period, during this one year, can we move from competing narrow dogmatisms to continuously opening space that includes all possible perspectives? That is the question. For when Jupiter then enters Capricorn on December 2, 2019 for its next year-long transit, we may begin to pay attention to the actual material structures we have created that either reflect or negate our widening perspectives during this crucial Jupiter in Sagittarius year.