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Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It is a beautiful, gaseous planet that resides just outside the asteroid belt beyond Mars. In Babylonian myth, Jupiter is the king of all gods and corresponds to Zeus in Greek myth. In astrology, Jupiter is the ruler of expansion. Like a god, anything it touches becomes larger than life.

Jupiter is often called the planet of luck in traditional astrology. Its transits to different planets and houses in the natal chart have coincided with financial windfall, lottery winnings, business successes, and related manifestations of luck. There is also, however, another side of Jupiter that is extremely important. It is this side of Jupiter that causes astrology students, hobbyists, and even some professionals to scratch their head wondering why a major transit of Jupiter didn't bring them the good fortune they were expecting. They have been taught that Jupiter is a positive planet, so that the movements of it should bring positive events.

The archetypes of the planets manifest in our lives in both positive and negative ways. There is no planet that is utterly positive or completely negative. Each brings its own lessons to help us learn to change and grow. Some seem to be more uncomfortable than others, but all have both sides of the polarity in the symbol.

While Jupiter can and does coincide with good luck and fortune, it is also the symbol of expansion. Its ruler is Sagittarius, and its home is the ninth house of the zodiac. Wherever Sagittarius is in the natal chart will tell us where we may be jovial, fun loving, and sometimes a little over the edge. Sagittarius is often described as the part of us that is the fire that can burn out of control. While this may be an exciting experience or part of our selves, it can also have a negative connotation. The Ninth House rules the area of our lives where we want to learn about more than the mundane. Here you will find a description of where experiences such as college, spirituality, and long-distance travel fit in the scheme of your life. This tells us something about the ruling planet Jupiter. Jupiter likes to do more, be more, get more, and know more. While this is an integral part of the human experience, more does not always equal better.

Jupiter, planet of expansion, is going to make anything it touches larger so if you are having a crummy time at your job and Jupiter comes along and goes into your sixth house of work, the situation can get worse. Now, if you are aware that Jupiter is on its way to showing up at your job, you can find ways through the rest of your chart to make the best out of it. Jupiter will always bring an opportunity. Yet, if you are willing to just deal with the crummy job and do not want to do the work it will take to make it better or find a new one, that transit of Jupiter can seem to force you to make that change by enhancing the negative points so that you have to quit or change to improve. So, all planets bring the polarity of positive and negative. The symbol may seem like a negative one while you are experiencing it, however it will ultimately be a catalyst for something positive. The person with the crummy job may think astrology does not work because when Jupiter came through her sixth house she got fired from her job, had to hit the pavement and find a new one, and get adjusted all over again. She expected Jupiter to improve her job, maybe get her a promotion. Instead she had to go through an uncomfortable situation. Yet, Jupiter is working perfectly in our lives when this happens. In its own way, it brought change and fortune to her life, even though it seemed an anti-climax. The job that was going nowhere and made her unhappy had to be removed from her life. In the end, she will be a happier person. Sometimes the "getting there" with Jupiter is just not what we expect it to be.

In a natal chart, Jupiter can also show us the different ways we can work with it, or the ways it can show up in those who are not self-aware. Jupiter in the second house, for instance, may mean that we have an easy time with finances. A person with this placement, even during times of financial lulls, never has to worry about where the next slice of bread will come from because somehow, someway it will come. Now, let's put it in the sign of Capricorn. This person will have the same luck with having what they need, but will most likely worry about it more. Their values may be tied up in needing things to feel good about themselves or to feel like a part of the community. Becoming aware of this placement, the individual may choose to recognize this side of them selves, and instead of worrying about their position in life, they can use that energy to succeed as a person of business or high character.

Another example is the zealot or the radical. These people take their beliefs or their political views to an unhealthy extreme. Usually this is a hint that there is a Jupiter problem or conflict with them. If you stick Jupiter and Mars and sometimes Uranus together in aspect to each other, you can find someone who has such a need for expansion that it shows up in all areas of their life.

In the end, the beauty of Jupiter is the fact that no matter where it is in the chart, if we use it to the best of our abilities, it will always show us where we can put some energy to find an answer to a problem. Jupiter has a popular and positive symbol, and that is because when we use it right, that fire can light the way home for us!

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