Editor’s note: this article was written last summer, upon Jupiter’s ingress into Leo. It is being posted here in two parts in order to serve as a moratorium on Jupiter’s year-long pass through the Lion’s sign, to reflect on developments therein. Part One will present the basis from which various historical personages will be put forth as representative of this planet in sign, and we will begin our examination with figures from Western philosophy and celebrity. Part Two will be presented next week, and will journey East, only to double back to discuss prominent Western rulers. Now, without further ado…
Jupiter in Leo – symbol of spirituality or spiritual courage?
by Marko Obranović
Jupiter is on its way through Leo on August 11th, 2015 and is reminding us of all the famous media start born under this configuration. It is a divine combination for someone wishing to be on a shining world stage. It can be found in natal charts of famous directors, actors and music performers. But this is, more or less, information known in the astrological community, general knowledge. The question is: are there any other traits that can be connected with fiery Leo and expanding Jupiter?
Astrologers have written extensively on the Jupiter Cycle and its approximate 12 years of traveling through the Zodiac. For each individual cycle begins from the position Jupiter occupied in the natal chart and from there it travels roughly 30° per year which marks 1/12 of its cycle. Step by step it expands, organizes and socializes the areas of personal charts which he transits (1). His influence is modified by Saturn, limiting, but also a constructive partner. Very often expectations from Jupiter’s transits are overstated or make us think something much bigger will happen than eventually does, but he brings hope that things will be better.
Hope is one of the strongholds of organized religions. Just endure something; sickness, poverty, lack of love or place to stay, and in the future a divine hand will touch you and grant your wishes. Jupiter compensates what Saturn has rigidly denied. You just have to believe, be part of our community and belong to us, to the organized religion whose borders and laws are strictly set by sacred ancestors with Saturn’s face. Inside this set community, Jupiter is a high priest, the one that preaches and promises salvation and organizes the faithful ones.
The beginning of current Zodiac is set at the first degree of Aries. This is an appropriate start when we look on evolution of humanity through an individualistic angle. Taking this into account, we can observe evolution of religious beliefs of an individual from that starting point. When Jupiter crosses the Vernal Equinox, it marks some sort of spark for religious development. From beginning of Aries until the end of Gemini, this process is strongly individualistic when it is transformed from strictly personal to a group or family level in Cancer. We can argue to some extent that relative freedom in developing a personal approach to religion exists in the first three signs of the Zodiac. This freedom is just relative, as the new cycle brings with it residues or karma from the previous one which ended in Pisces.
In Aries, a need for religious quest is awakened, Taurus focuses the need, in Gemini we learn about the religion and finally in Cancer it is set as some sort of foundation with which we go through life hoping for the best.
What happens in Leo?
Contrary to its opposite sign, Aquarius, Leo is not often regarded as a rebellious character. Maybe this is correct in the matters of social rebellion, but Leo confronts every time his ego is hurt. This rebellion is often evoked by selfish reasons which mostly bring personal gain or defeat but in certain cases they are indications of wider social changes starting from a single individual.
To the most of us religion inherited from family (Cancer) is something we take for granted. People continue the religious rituals in the same or similar way they ancestors did. But, Jupiter in Leo is the first step after the family and a time to take one step further. This step is sometimes a revolt and sometimes an effort to show the world that what we received in the private circumstances of home life deserves to be shown to a wider audience.
This article will present a number of examples of famous historical or contemporary personalities born with Jupiter in Leo whose influence manifested in their lives in three distinct fashions. Every group of examples has a few things in common which can be connected with basic symbolism of Jupiter and Leo; organized religion and/or individual rebellion against it, emancipation of a particular group inside organized religion and expansion of spirituality learned inside a family or some other wider community (Leo as a next step after Cancer). In most cases, actions were personally motivated and can, to some extent, be explained with Saturn’s natal chart impact, but the end results had far more social sway.
Rebels against and critics of traditional religion
Before the rebellion there has to be something or someone to rebel against, there has to be an example which shows that Jupiter in Leo is strongly connected with traditional religion.
Probably the best example is the late Pope John Paul II born with culminate conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Leo. It is relatively easy to notice the strong influence of this configuration throughout his life. Based on his biography, at the beginning of his third Jupiter cycle, on February 29th 1944 he was hit by a Nazi army truck which caused him severe injuries. Survival and recovery marks some sort of inner conformation of his vocation as a priest. This cycle was in the last phase as Jupiter was passing through Cancer when he earned his PhD in Sacred Theology in 1954. Political struggles inside Poland prevented him from receiving that degree until 1957, at the start of his fourth Jupiter cycle. In June of 1967, at the start of his fifth cycle he was promoted to the Sacred College of Cardinals, an advisory college in the Vatican from which a new Pope is selected. At the start of his sixth cycle he was elected as Pope John Paul II (2, 3).
His life path was very much connected with the Jupiter cycle but he also tried to transcend exclusivity of one inherited religion with the help of universal Neptune. All this under strong influence of Saturn in Virgo with his apparent effort to develop servitude and humility.
But, who were the rebels?
Thomas Henry Huxley was a 19th century English biologist and grandfather of famous writer Aldous Huxley. History remembers him from various scientific work but the fact that stands out is his famous debate with Samuel Wilberforce in 1860 which was the key moment for acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Thomas was born with Jupiter in Leo conjunct his ASC and Saturn in Gemini in the 11th house. He called himself “Darwin’s bulldog” and through a battle for scientific appreciation of Darwin’s work, he purely reflected his natal chart. Outspoken Jupiter on an academic stage was pushing intellectual borders of knowledge set by Saturn in Gemini and the teachings of creationism. He is the one that coined the term “agnostic,” representing his religious beliefs, an individual statement which can be explained as “someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities”. Just as a final curiosity, a famous debate of his took place at the Oxford University Museum in Oxford, England, on June 30th of 1860, a few hours after Jupiter entered Leo and was crossing his ASC (4, 5).
In 1873, at the start of his fifth Jupiter cycle, the King of Sweden made Huxley a Knight of the Order of the Polar Star (4).
Famous French writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire was born with Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Capricorn. His natal chart battle between these two planetary positions is clearly seen in his work through attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Ha was one of the key thinkers of The Enlightenment, battling superstition and supporting religious tolerance. This was a battle for an individual freedom from old dogmas and tradition, not a revolution, but it is interesting to note here that the flashpoint for the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille, happened on July 14th, 1789 during Jupiter in Leo.
With theatrical Jupiter in Leo, he used his satires to uncover true weaknesses of the organized state and religion (Saturn in Capricorn). The Age of Enlightenment was sparked in late 17th century by the ones like Descartes and Bacon (with Jupiter in Aries,) more thoroughly developed in works of Baruch Spinoza and John Locke (Jupiter in Taurus,) and some sort of literary statement, sum or peak of those ideas was presented in famous French “Encyclopédie” published between 1751 (Jupiter in Gemini from 29th June) and 1772. Voltaire was one of the main contributors in this enormous collection of 28 volumes written, for the first time in Western civilization from the point of individual or intellectual authority, not religious dogmas (6, 7).
Jean-François Lefebvre de la Barre (September 12, 1745 – July 1, 1766; during Jupiter in Leo) was a young French nobleman, famous for having been tortured and beheaded before his body was burnt on a pyre along with Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. La Barre is often said to have been executed for not saluting a Roman Catholic religious procession, but the elements of the case were far more complex (6).
Søren Kierkegaard, 19th century Danish philosopher, is another famous example of the combination of Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Capricorn. Considered to be the first existentialist philosopher, he wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion. The foundation of his philosophical thinking was “living human individual” and its relationship to life. His open attack on the Danish Church started in the last years of his life and were provoked with a speech held for the deceased Bishop Jacob Peter Mynster (here is an example of Jupiter in Leo rebelling against authority of Saturn in Capricorn,) after which he strongly objected to the idealized presentation of the bishop’s religious actions and public image. Kierkegaard’s stressed individual relation to Christianity (Jupiter in Leo) contrary to organized bureaucratic church controlled by the state (Saturn in Capricorn). His vast writings on religion are fascinating examples of questions and thoughts on individual sincerity in relation with Christianity (8).
“…it should immediately be borne in mind that the issue is not about the truth of Christianity but about the individual’s relation to Christianity, consequently not about the indifferent individual’s systematic eagerness to arrange the truths of Christianity in paragraphs but rather about the concern of the infinitely interested individual with regard to his own relation to such a doctrine.” (9)
One of the most famous 19th century French novelists and poets, Victor Hugo, was born with Jupiter in Leo (culminate, on Regulus) in conjunction with Saturn in Virgo; both retrograde in opposition with Sun, Venus and Pluto in 4th. He was brought up by a strongly religious mother, but his religious views changed radically throughout his life. From strong identification with his family Catholic religion in his youth to election for parliament as a conservative during the end of his third Jupiter return in 1848 and breaking off with conservatives after a speech for the end of poverty and misery in 1849 at a beginning of his fourth Jupiter cycle. Soon after the beginning of his fourth Jupiter cycle Hugo was forced into political exile, where he continued his estrangement from traditional religion, frequenting Spiritism and settling in Rational Deism, similar to Voltaire. After the return from exile, at the beginning of his sixth Jupiter cycle in 1872, after being asked if he was a Catholic, his answer was “No, a Freethinker”. He insisted on burying his sons without religious symbol and demanded the same procedure for his funeral (10, 11).
His famous book, Les Miserables, was published during his exile in spring of 1862, at the beginning of his fifth Jupiter cycle. The book appeared in Index Librorum Prohibitorum – a list of publications deemed heretical, anti-clerical or lascivious, and therefore banned by the Catholic Church. He passed away on May 22nd 1885 with transiting Jupiter in Leo on 27° conjunct his natal Jupiter on 29° closing in on his final cycle (10, 12).
One of the more contemporary examples of natal Jupiter in Leo rebelling against religious institutions can be found in Sinead O’Connor and her Saturday Night Live performance in October of 1992, when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II as a protest against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Her Saturn is in last degrees of Pisces (symbol of institutions) and part of a complex T-square involving Venus in Sagittarius and Pluto and Uranus in Virgo. Her Jupiter is retrograde and alone in the half of the Zodiac separated with a Saturn-Uranus conjunction opposing Pluto. She stood alone on that Leo’s stage on Saturday Night Live. Her actions had deeply personal motivation as she was physically abused as a child by her mother, who she left in 1979 at the beginning of her second Jupiter cycle. This cycle got its conclusion or reaping of the benefits in its last stage during transition of Jupiter from Cancer to Leo in 1990 when she reached global success with her hit song “Nothing Compares 2 U” (13).
Part Two will be posted next week. Stay tuned! – NJC
Marko Obranović is a university food scientist with a lifelong passion for astrology. He combines these two subjects on his bilingual blog, Terra Astrology (www.terraastrology.com/en), sometimes as individual topics or together as a “from the stars” view on contemporary health nutrition. For personal consultation or other discussion, he can be reached through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Skype (mobranovic).