I didn’t think unfavourite was a word but apparently it is! And yes I know – I shouldn’t have favourites. In my defence, I think we invoke a planetary energy when we focus on a specific planet, and I usually spend time each month focussing on the sign and planet of the month. I have invoked Jupiter – Lord of Sagittarius, who is a judge. So I am allowing myself to be judgemental.
And besides, Jupiter is often seen by astrologers as a lucky planet – the ‘great benefic’, the good guy. Being Aquarian, that ruffles my feathers, as we don’t tend to appreciate heroes. Jupiter is just so over-the-top sometimes and we Aquarians are not keen on arrogant show-offs!
Jupiter is not all bad
Of course, like all planets, I grudgingly admit he has his good points. I blame my Saggi mother. Much as I loved her and appreciated her and her humour, she was quite ‘judgey’. Especially about clothes. She particularly hated jeans, considering them ‘common’. When I was a teenager, she always wanted to give me the once-over before I went out, to see if she approved. Mostly she said “You look very nice”, but I was sensitive to the scrutiny. And I always tried to escape it. These days I am concerned that someone will arrive at my home when I am still in my pyjamas, a not uncommon occurrence. But at least my mother won’t knock on the door. That’d be scary in more ways than one!
Is Jupiter a racist?
My mother also showed hints of racism, which as I discovered later when I asked her about it, wasn’t really racism at all. She just wasn’t keen on Maoris. My experience working with Maori chefs when I was a waitress was positive, as was my experience of my boyfriend’s in-laws, who were great fun. They could also cook a great hangi! But my mother’s experience as a child was very different, and it coloured her views. I think she wouldn’t mind me using her as an example of what we all do, and what I think we need to be conscious of, if we are ever going to sort out this ridiculously divided world. We must understand where our convictions come from.
We need Jupiter to help us make sense of things. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, which is opposite Gemini. Signs opposing each other are always linked. In this case, Gemini communicates and takes in information. Sagittarius weighs up this information and makes sense of it. Jupiter energy is concerned with pattern-forming, an ability we need to have in order to learn. So as children, if we understand that every time we touch something hot it hurts, we learn that pattern, and avoid putting our fingers in the fire. It takes work to overcome this conviction – such as when you want to attempt a walk over hot coals. Unlikely to happen in my case. Breaking through a confirmed pattern that has been reinforced by experience time and again, is challenging. The good news is, perhaps, that we can change our deeply held beliefs. Because we really need to change many of them!
My mother’s convictions
I always loved this story as it made me laugh, and I could just imagine it happening. My mother, being brought up in a very Catholic family, of course went to church with her six siblings every Sunday. They were dressed in their Sunday best, which, for the three sisters, included hats with turned up brims. Behind them, in church, was always a Maori family. The kids used to think it was fun to eat plums and spit the plum stones into my mother’s hat, along with those of her two sisters. Much muffled sniggering ensued, about which my mother and her sisters could do nothing, as you couldn’t make a fuss in church!
A belief is formed
Apart from having to clean their hats and get the stains off, and the fact that later in life, my mother and her sisters found it funny, this was a deeply humiliating experience for my mother at such a young age. She felt powerless. It is such a minor event in terms of life experience, but I have found in all my years of working with clients, it is just this sort of seemingly unimportant (and that’s what we are also told) experience that sets deep convictions. The pattern-forming aspects of Jupiter, and particularly in my mother’s case, as she was a Sagittarian, extended her dislike to all Maoris. Not just these particular children. And because she didn’t have much contact with Maoris after that, the opportunities to change that belief were limited. Her conclusion, looked at this way, is completely logical.
This month I listened to an interview with David Grossman, the Israeli author who just won the Erasmus Prize here. The theme this year was ‘Mending a torn world’. A link to the interview, which is in English, is below. He talks of imprisoning others in a stereotype. He calls it a frozen narrative, one which needs to flow again. To do this we need to listen to others and stop resisting them. Of course this is very difficult in a conflict situation. However, if we can release the other from a stereotype, it is freeing for ourselves. We need to tell an old story in new words. Grossman gives the example of Israel and Palestine, where he suggests only real dialogue can help.
Once we know
In my Inner Child work, it is quite clear that if you understand why you have formed a particular belief, you can ‘reframe’ it, and in Grossman’s words, something thaws. We often extend our personal beliefs formed by experiences, to a group based on obvious characteristics such as skin colour, or nationality. Or political choice. Or gender. In cases of sexual abuse, it is perfectly understandable that the gender group of the abuser will not be trusted. But if we are able to see the perpetrator as just one person, and not the whole group, it helps change the frozen narrative, such as ‘all men are untrustworthy’ or in the case of a dominating mother, ‘all women are bossy’. This type of belief is very limiting for all parties.
The most damaging beliefs
Of course all beliefs relating to others can create division and be very harmful. However, perhaps the most damaging, are the ones we form of ourselves. The younger we are when we are trying to make sense of events, the more likely we are to relate that to ourselves: “It was my fault, I am stupid, I’m not worth my father’s time, being angry or fighting is bad, what I feel doesn’t matter”. To deal with these feelings we create a coping strategy: “I mustn’t be angry, I’ll keep quiet, there’s no point crying or expressing what I want, I’ll entertain myself.” These are the blocks we experience later in life. Parents and teachers often reinforce these beliefs until they become thoroughly entrenched. Becoming free of these convictions is extremely liberating.
Jupiterians make great lawyers, professors, politicians and explorers. On a good day. These are the people we look to for advice and wisdom, and to show us the wonders of the world. We once assumed that academics and politicians were wise experts. However, they may play ‘god’ – having a sense of entitlement and overriding the wishes of others. We have reached a time when we are learning that ‘trust the science’ and ‘politicians are there for us’ are simply not believable any more. Many people, due to the time they have available and access to internet, know far more than doctors, professors – and certainly politicians!
In desperation and in his arrogant mode, Jupiter uses propaganda to force us to form our beliefs. He reinforces an agenda that is certain to divide us, because we have the means to check and analyse what we are being told. So while some will believe the standard (frozen) narrative, many others are questioning it. And although this makes it a very confusing time, it may be necessary for us to learn to trust our own wisdom. Hopefully it will eventually form the basis of freeing the narrative.
And since I mentioned gender
Andrew Doyle – in his new book ‘The New Puritans: How the Religion of Social Justice Captured the Western World’ takes a very well-researched swipe at wokeness and the cancel culture. It fits in well with this post, as one of the themes Jupiter represents is religion. And many of the things he discusses in an interview below are Sagittarian in nature.
Doyle relates why he insists that institutes and politics need to root out this wokeness, giving the example of what has happened to discussions on gender. He rails at how many genders we are now obliged to acknowledge, and finds the social justice movement not about any form of justice at all. He describes it as authoritarian and dangerous, and draws parallels with the Salem witch trials. Doyle is quite outspoken, and in my view, he is well worth reading or listening to.
The issues being raised by gender-fluidity and the transgender topic are thorny ones. Last weekend I read an article in the newspaper here on the conflicts of gender-neutral toilets in schools. Of course there are passionate arguments on both sides of the debate. As is often the case with this sort of discussion, things sometimes need to get worse before they get better. It seems to me that this is one way to eventually free the narrative from gender stereotypes.
I hope that in the end, kids can express who they really are without having to do drastic things to their bodies. Of course there are real cases of ‘being born in the wrong body’, but I question whether there are as many as being reported. There are true cases of intersex babies too. I hope this debate can help us get over the need to put everyone in sexual and gender boxes. And to integrate masculine and feminine in a wider context.
Jupiter in Aries
As I put the finishing touches to this blog post, Jupiter enters the sign of Aries. He was there for a while earlier in the year, between May and October before he ran back to Pisces. Jupiter in Aries offers an opportunity to act on what we believe, and start to live our personal philosophy of life. However, it can also mean more violence and war, as we fight for our ‘religions’.
The day Jupiter entered Aries on May 11 this year, was the day that Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. One day later, (close enough for me), was also the day that the first direct observation confirmed the presence of the black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, as the beating heart of our Milky Way. Aries is pioneering and Jupiter rules space! The entrance of a planet into a sign highlights its themes. So how will you take advantage of this energy? You have until mid-May 2023.
A quiet time
I wish you a satisfying Solstice. For many this is a quiet time, especially for us here in the North. Perhaps it is a good time to reflect on your beliefs and convictions and melt some of them – like the ice in your festive drink!
Websites of the month
Images of the black hole Sagittarius A*
Here’s the short interview with David Grossman. I found it quite moving.
And here is a rather long interview with Andrew Doyle. It covers quite a few Jupiter topics. I think it well worth a watch and it is very interesting about truth, comedy and J.K. Rowling too.
My last Sagittarius post includes a short description of what Jupiter in each sign means in your own horoscope.
Quote of the month
“Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.” Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher.