Astrological Musings

The Sun enters Sagittarius today and Jupiter follows on Friday, after which only Mars and Mercury will remain in Scorpio. In the US as we celebrate Thanksgiving, the mood will become more Jovial (Jove is another name for Jupiter) as we leave the intensity of Scorpio behind and begin to explore the meaning of life in Sagittarius.

Sagittarius is the sign of exploration – of adventure, religion, foreign travel and philosophy. In Sag we feel expansive and optimistic, full of confidence that holds within it the risk of overconfidence and a sense of self-righteousness as well as a reckless approach to life that sometimes defies common sense. When Jupiter is in its own sign there is a sharper focus on Sagittarian issues: travel, foreign culture, religion. It’s interesting that Jupiter in Sag marked the entry of Pluto into Sagittarius in 1995 and now it marks Pluto’s departure as well.

Jupiter will remain in Sagittarius until December of 2007 and Pluto will leave Sag in February of 2008. When Pluto completes its passage through a sign it often acts as a cosmic sweeper, bringing forth any remaining philosophical debris that remains. While Pluto has been in Sagittarius (since 1995) there has been a complete upheaval in the religious and ideological balance all over the world. Religious fundamentalism in all three of the world’s major religions became much more prevalent. At the same time, more and more people refuse to be pigeonholed in a religious category, with twice as many people checking the “none” box when asked for their religious affilitation in 2004 than in 1998. Still, the world has grown smaller with the increase of globalization and outsourcing of jobs to other nations, and the influx of immigrants into virtually every first world nation. Cultures and nationalities are mixing at a pace not seen before.

Before next year, Pluto and Jupiter have only been conjunct in Sagittarius three times during the last 1000 years: once in 1508 and 1509, once in 1757 and 1758, and once in 1995-1996. Pluto entered Sagittarius in 1503 and Jupiter entered Sag in 1508, coinciding with the crowning of King Henry VIII who later separated from the Roman Church to form the Anglican Church, the beginning of the Protestant revolution. This period also witnessed an increase in international exploration and colonization of the New World by Spanish explorers, as well as increased persecution of Jews in Germany. (Xenophobia, the fear of outsiders, has been a factor during the current passage of Pluto through Sagittarius as well.) It was during this period too that Machiavelli wrote “The Prince” which justifies the subjugation of morality and religion to politics.

Morality and religion are major concerns of both Jupiter and Sagittarius, and the next year or so will beam a spotlight on these issues, as well as entertainment and experiences that we have just for fun. The Jupiter experience is expansive, but hidden within the opportunities for abundance is the kernel of life’s lesson as expressed by Saturn. If the Jupiterian bubble becomes to big, Saturn is usually there to pop it. Fortunately, Jupiter and Saturn will be in harmonious aspect in early 2007 to help us stay in balance!

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