Yesterday we mentioned that Jupiter changed signs. It will be in Gemini for the next year. Some of you know that Jupiter is said to be ‘in detriment’ in its new placement in Gemini. This is a reference to ancient astrology. It sounds like it might be a problem, but is it really? We’ve done some research into the question.
David Arner, Eric’s astrology teacher, said that, “Anything in detriment just makes it more interesting. Being in detriment in Gemini means that Jupiter is being filtered through a lens opposite one of its own signs (Sagittarius, where it thrives). Often what’s bad for the planet is good for the person with the placement.”
He continued, “If Jupiter is about expanding one’s horizons, with it in detriment it’s going to expand the horizons in unexpected ways. You get everything that’s not in accordance with the norm. Jupiter is still itself; it just does things in ways that are more interesting because it doesn’t have the kind of reinforcement that it would get in its home sign. As a result, a planet in detriment needs to be more creative. And that is what makes it interesting.”
Here is a worldly example. Let’s say you choose a new apartment with a quirky layout because it’s a ‘fun design challenge’. That in turn causes you to make bolder-than-usual decorating choices, and suddenly you find yourself diving into a new artistic hobby or hosting frequent dinner parties.
Or even more organically, it’s like how some herbs actually achieve greater potency form having to grow in less-than-ideal soil. The extra push it takes just to live gets transmuted into an intensified expression of other desirable qualities. You could also say Jupiter brings something exotic to the neighborhood.
The thing about Jupiter in Gemini, though, is that this creative push and extra effort is not usually highly focused. It tends to be diffuse. Left to its own devices, this can keep Jupiter’s energy to rather superficial use. With a little awareness and conscious effort (or mitigating aspects from other planets in a natal chart), the need to direct one’s energy in several directions can be turned to an advantage.
Take, for instance, the chart of Charles Dickens, whom we profiled this winter. Dickens has Jupiter in Gemini high up in his chart. He was far from a dilettante or an intellectual snob; rather, he was a prolific writer and speaks in common language of common struggles – tales many still love to read. You cannot say it’s a detriment in his case. Dickens opens up a whole world to the world in great detail. In Sagittarius it would not have worked; he would have held too many judgments and not given enough attention to detail.
Dale O’Brien describes that dynamic this way: “Jupiter, (equivalent to the Greek god Zeus), was/is Lord of the Heavens, and is most happy higher up, in wide open space, where ‘The Big Picture’ is clear as day. … When Jupiter is in Sagittarius, Jupiter only has to answer to, and take into account, himself.”
He continues, “Fire sign Sagittarius indicates upward (vertical) mobility (fire’s flame always goes up). Air sign Gemini indicates horizontal mobility, as the breezy winds of air blow every which way. When Jupiter is in Gemini, Jupiter has to answer to and take into account the ever-changing input of Mercury.”
Mercury’s swift travels grant mobility; Gemini’s twin symbol indicates duality. Then Jupiter comes along, expanding everything, and two sides to the coin are simultaneously not quite enough and not really at odds with each other. Eric has noted that, “basically the overall theme of Jupiter in Gemini is not duplicity or dualism or duality — it’s multiplicity and diversity. Jupiter has 66 satellites.”
We can take a cue from this factual, physical reality of Jupiter and understand that to have 66 satellites, Jupiter’s influence (gravity) must be working on all those bodies all at once – if not equally, then in proportion to each satellite’s mass. Consider how you might do this in your own life: you may not be able to dabble in everything to the same degree, but as long as each endeavor gets your attention relative to its importance in your life, you may find yourself at the center of your own little solar system, humming along.
As for the two sides of the coin not being at odds, Alice A. Bailey in Esoteric Astrology writes that in a natal chart, Jupiter in a Gemini ascendant indicates the ability to “attain the conscious integration of soul and spirit.”
That is, Jupiter actually helps to resolve the duality of that sign. It’s a level of integration that may be a little trickier to grasp, but you get the basic point: unification and multiplicity are two ways to work with the seeming challenge of duality — and we’ll be exploring these ideas and a few others concerning this transit in the coming days and weeks.