As our series of astrology articles makes its way out of the solar system, we have passed through the asteroid belt and left behind the inner planets to arrive at the outer ones. We have reached a higher level of the heavens, where deities of a greater magnitude reside. The first we shall meet here is Jupiter, then followed by Saturn, thus completing our survey of the planets known in antiquity.
The largest of all planets in our solar system was aptly named for the father of the gods: Jupiter to the Romans and Zeus to the Greeks. Jupiter is held in esteem by the tradition of astrology as the Great Benefic. In other words, he is always good news, no matter where he is in the astrological chart. Traditional interpretations for the meaning of Jupiter are very much akin to our present day notion of Santa Claus. He, sans red suit, is the bearer and giver of gifts, yet does Santa one better in that he is not limited to one day per year. In whatever sign he is found in a natal horoscope, it will always indicate the area of life in which an individual can rely on plenty of opportunities for blessings, including wealth, as well as good fortune in general.
Revolving around the sun takes Jupiter nearly 12 years, so he averages a year's sojourn per astrological sign, thus giving each of our calendar's years its unique quality. He spends much of 2000 in the sign of Taurus, indicating we will have the best luck if we share resources and responsibilities in our relationships at home and work.
We now come to the last planet within our solar system known since antiquity, since it is discernable to the unaided eye. The Romans called it Saturn, although the Greeks named him Chronos, translated to English as time, the father of Zeus/Jupiter in their mythology. The Father Time we know today is the traditional, astrological depiction of Saturn: a tall, thin, bony, old geezer. In astrology, this chronic concept is perceived as Karma, a Hindu word for the cosmic law of cause and effect. More than any other planet in one's natal chart, the placement of Saturn indicates the Karma one has accrued from past lives and indicates the area of life in which the individual must strive with effort in order to attain spiritual balance.
Saturn is traditionally depicted as carrying a scythe, an ancient, agricultural tool for reaping grain, symbolic for the way time grows and ultimately ends our lives. Therefore, he has come to represent to astrology how one spends time working. He takes about 28 years to revolve around the sun, so the average human's life span sees three Saturn Returns, when the planet transits, or passes over, its original natal placement. Typically, an individual experiences significant career changes around ages 28 and 56; today, these numbers work out as beginning the career one is destined to do and early retirement. Currently, Saturn is to be found in Taurus, meaning all of us must exert ourselves over the very same shared resources and responsibilities in our relationships at home and work mentioned earlier in conjunction with Jupiter.
About every 20 years, when Jupiter and Saturn are in the same sign, as they are now, it is easier to discern the rewards for one's efforts. Most of the time, however, the paymaster and the taskmaster of the God Corporation are to be found in very different departments. This is vitally important to bear in mind as one proceeds through life: where one puts in effort may not necessarily be, and usually is not, where one will be rewarded for such effort. Such is the law of Karma.
From the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn outward through the remaining planets of our solar system, we have reached a stage in astrology where the planetary influence on our lives takes on a less than purely personal aspect. The outer planets in a chart make one cognizant of forces, which can as easily manifest in one's life as an outside influence rather than a purely inner characteristic. The father of the gods and his father, whom we may call the grandfather, bring us into the awareness that there are beings of a higher dimension who have a say in who we are and what we make of ourselves. From this point outward into our galaxy, there remain only planet/deities, whom indicate our individual place within the greater whole and how we may best serve our brothers and sisters in the family of humankind, which shall be covered in the next issue.