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Monday, March 22, 2010

Archetypal Processes VII: Jupiter – CREDO CIII

When you expand think of contraction, and your work will have fullness of form. When you contract think of expansion, and your work will have the beauty of effortless ease.
                   – Advice from a Chinese artist

The next two archetypal processes are those of the next two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, whose glyphs are reversals of each other: Jupiter has the cross with the crescent above the left cross arm; Saturn has the cross with the crescent below the right arm, indicating that the two balance one another.

Jupiter, the Roman god, is the same as Zeus, the Greek one. You find this archetypal process embodied also in the Laughing Buddha and in our own Santa Claus!

When I was fifteen and at an American boarding school for a change, I fell and damaged my kneecap and was unable to participate in sports. So for fun, I decided to make a family tree of the Greek deities. I soon discovered, because of the huge number of Zeus’s progeny, that I had to resort to a huge piece of wrapping paper! His sons and daughters were so many and fathered by him in such varying disguises, that I soon learned his gift for expansion and basic benevolence and generosity were almost limitless! So enthusiasm (the word comes from en theos, filled with the god), wealth, and jollity all are part of that process. Shakespeare makes him Falstaff. The only possible negative is excess; we become gluttons, and physical obesity or psychological greed can be the outcome. I, myself, have Jupiter conjunct Mercury, which translates into too many papers! Now that I have been unable to use my right hand for thirteen years, my karma has caught up with me. My desk is a constant shamble. I put two sheets down and find twenty next morning. With help, I am clearing out nine overflowing files and odd bits and pieces in every corner. Plus that, kind people send me copies of their manuscripts, etc., etc. I confess I am too interested in too many directions.

I haven’t even mentioned the library or the records and tapes! Some of the latter my beloved husband collected.

Psychologically, speaking esoterically, it seems that this archetypal process blesses us with what we have acquired previously in the way of expertise, whether it be intuition or a gift in art, sport, counseling or cooking, parenting, or eating and drinking. The lesson is that this expansion desperately needs Saturn’s limits to control it.

Jupiter is the largest planet, and this may symbolize the tremendous jovial goodwill and enthusiasm of the process. Jove, by the way, is another name for Jupiter.
Aha! must also be countered by uh–oh, because the negative of Jupiter, as I have pointed out, involves excess! The myth of King Midas is a teaching story. His greed resulted in everything he touched turning to gold, including his food! He fortunately learned his lesson and was released by the god Dionysus and told to bathe in a certain river.

The current poster boy for this has surely been Madoff who found a criminal path to the “Midas touch”! But there are other wealthy celebrities: an actor who collects so many cars he has a special warehouse to store them in. There is a difference between an art collector who shares the beauty he has and a collector like Scrooge McDuck! It is the difference between greed and appreciation.

Death, Saturn’s realm, separates all of us from all things material, so in the end we can only keep the intangibles; thus the process of Jupiter rules philosophy, religion, education, philanthropy, and also athletics! These are all gifts that keep on giving on one level or another. I think of Andrew Carnegie and the author of an autobiography titled Tell them it was wonderful! Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with its chorus of Joy, joy, daughter off Elysium . . . is the hymn of this beneficent archetypal process!

My first husband was Saturnian, and my beloved Polar Bear, Walter, was positive Jupiter personified, which all who knew him, including my grown children, would affirm. He was big, strong, hearty, kind, generous, and supportive. I remember him binding a bending plant in the garden carefully to a stick. His pleasure was in spreading a big smorgasbord for us all to eat. This was symbolic. He had had a difficult life, yet always met every challenge with faith and courage and kindness.

The archetypal process embodied in Jupiter is that of fundamental optimism, that ultimately a yes! has to sound before a no ! can deny it. This represents the force for good that prevails down through the centuries, that faith, hope, and love will keep us going no matter what, and that Saturn is there to keep exuberance in check with prudence, sobriety, and wisdom.


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