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Astro-Tarot Series

Part 5: Jupiter and the Hierophant

Elbert Benjamine

Except the Sun, which rules the Drive for Significance and thus the urge to live and accomplish, Jupiter, the planet of the bands, is the largest of the astrological orbs; in fact it has a volume greater than all the other planets combined. And this huge volume well represents the importance to our lives of the thoughts and behavior which are accentuated by his benevolent rays.

The conventional hieroglyph by which astronomers designate the planet is the cross, symbol of matter and the physical instincts, on the left arm of which is superimposed a crescent, like a new moon, symbol of mind and feeling. Such a hieroglyph is designed to indicate that the grossness of the purely physical is under the control of mind. And so far as it goes this portrays accurately enough the part which Jupiter plays in human life, and the attitude toward the department of existence mapped in the birth chart by the house he occupies. But for a comprehensive understanding of the planet’s influence this hieroglyph deals too largely in generalities.

To preserve the information so painstakingly gained about the orbs they called wanderers, those of old designed Major Arcanum 5 of the tarot specifically to explain, in the language of symbolical pictograph, important things they had learned about Jupiter. It is pictured as a hierophant—that is, an authority on religion—who is seated between two columns of a sanctuary. He leans upon a cross of three bars, and with his right hand makes the sign of the pentagram. At his feet kneel two human figures, one dressed in red and the other dressed in black. Over the sanctuary, within which he is seated, the protecting vulture wings are spread.

The implication is obvious that here was an attempt to describe the function of religion and to indicate its tremendous power over human affairs. Modern astrologers all agree that Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, the sign naturally relating to the house in a birth chart which maps the section of the unconscious mind where one type of religious experiences is registered, is the planet governing religion. The ninth house, however, maps those mental factors not merely relating to religion, but opinions of all kinds which are given public expression; while the position of Jupiter in the chart of birth maps mental factors which relate to faith, devotion, benevolence, good cheer, joviality and veneration; mental factors which more specifically are built into the unconscious mind as Religious thought-elements.

The hierophant, with his right hand, makes the symbol of the pentagram signifying that he has tuned in on the benevolent power of Deity and thus transmits goodwill and helpfulness to all. His left hand rests upon the cross of three bars, representing the realms of spirit, astral and matter, which in turn correspond in human life to spirit, intellect and body. Thus is signified that the religious propensities of Jupiter, which when properly tuned in on, or when adequately cultivated, extend their power to every plane and in turn markedly influence the things of life that have become associated with them. Changes are instigated not only at the level of the body, but also in mind and spirituality.

This we find to be most true: people tune in most readily on Jupiter’s benevolent vibrations through that station of their astral bodies mapped by the planet’s position in their charts of birth. And the department of their lives thus associated with these vibrations, as indicated by the house position of the planet, in some manner is always subject to abundance. Unless pronounced discords prevail this department is also subject to much good fortune.

About those things, to which the house occupied by Jupiter in a birth chart relates, the individual has a special mental attitude. This attitude often does not extend to other departments of life. One may infer that the special type of fortune experienced is due to a special mental attitude about them. Where they are concerned one tends to be more optimistic than is the usual wont. There is an abiding faith that all will turn out well regarding them. If, for instance, Jupiter is in his house of friends (11th) goodwill toward friends, there is likely an attitude of always being willing to go out of one's way to do them favors. Joviality in their company, and the spirit of fine fellowship which is radiated, insures there will be an abundance of friends, and that they will be loyal and render assistance. Or, if Jupiter is in the house of those who labor (6th), a benevolent and loyal attitude toward those who work for, and with whom one works insures the utmost in loyalty and service in return.

Whatever house of the chart of birth we find the planet Jupiter in, its position maps a powerful group of thought-cells which have had their origin in thoughts and experiences relative to the things of the department of life that birth chart house rules. These thought-cells have been built throughout the past, before the soul was born in human form, through experiences with tolerance toward other members of the group, through confidence in a higher authority, such as faith in the parents or leader, and through obedience to the ruling power, which is at the foundation of veneration and devotion. And they are added to, and altered by, other thoughts since human birth which relate to benevolence, optimism, faith and religious devotion.

Both the thinking and the behavior relative to the department of life governed by the section of the unconscious mind mapped in the chart of birth by Jupiter are powerfully influenced by the release of energy from these so-called Religious thought-cells; the individual thinks differently and acts differently about the things of this portion of their affairs than he/she is likely to think and act about other things. The consequence is a different kind of fortune.

Furthermore, when a progressed aspect to Jupiter in one's chart is present, the stellar aerial then formed picks up the energies radiated by the planet in the sky in more than usual volume. Through this aerial, mapped by the progressed aspect, this unusual supply of energy is added directly to the Religious thought-cells in the unconscious mind. These thought-cells—which like physical cells have sufficient intelligence of their own to be able to perform their functions—are able to work energetically from the four-dimensional plane to attract an event into the life of the Jupiterian quality, and affect the department of existence shown by the house in the chart which the planet occupies.

To the extent an individual develops the power to feel and think the type of thoughts associated with Jupiter, thus actively tuning in on benevolent vibrations, is one also able to energize other departments of his life beneficially with them. To habitually associate any endeavor or phase of existence with thoughts of faith, good fellowship, helpfulness, joviality and religious devotion adds benefit to the thought-cells in the unconscious mind. If the feeling is maintained, the planet’s vibrations are added to that compartment of the astral body, in much the same way as if a progressed aspect to Jupiter were present.

It was to explain how the benevolent vibrations of Jupiter could be utilized to benefit any phase of life that those who designed Major Arcanum 5 pictured the religious hierophant making the sign of the pentagram with his right hand, while his left rests upon a cross whose upright penetrates all conditions and every plane.

The outspread wings above the sanctuary, and the kneeling human figures, one black and the other red, who supplicate the aid of the religious master, have a wider significance. People should, as the attitude of the hierophant suggests, reflect the Will of Deity, which is a concept back of most religions. The overshadowing wings represent that Omnipresent Intelligence which most enlightened beings accept as the guiding power behind all manifestation. It is through observing the direction in which creation is moving, and watching the course of the stars for future trends that humans are able to acquire some knowledge of the Deific Plan.

It is a human function to cooperate in the progressive fulfillment of that Divine Scheme of things. Efforts to do so are prompted by the religious thought-cells within the unconscious mind which are mapped in the chart of birth by the planet Jupiter. They cause movement toward a course of conduct considered moral, and avoidance of other types of conduct considered immoral or contrary to the accepted religion or philosophy one has accepted.

But, whether one's accepted religion is based upon the altruistic desire to perform one's particular constructive function in the Cosmic Plan, or is as narrow as the witch-burning orthodoxy that once taught that being joyful was a sin, a person is far better able to fulfill its demands if well versed in astrology.

The black figure at the hierophant’s feet indicates those times when the individual errs in conduct, either through faulty judgment or through being overpowered by temptation. The red figure indicates the times when he/she has made the correct choice, has acted according to the highest dictates of their conscience. True religion, as signified by the dominant position of the hierophant, serves as a guide for truly moral conduct and affords the utmost facility by which truly moral conduct is directed along truly moral lines. These things are within the province of astrology.

The birth chart unerringly maps both the strong points and the weaknesses of an individual’s character. Neither is unalterable. The chart of birth reveals the organization of the unconscious mind as it existed at birth. Without the aid of astrological knowledge, subsequent experiences tend to be along the lines indicated in the chart of birth and thus merely accentuate the various traits of character with which the individual was born. But, with a chart of birth at hand, those given the responsibility of training the child can take special pains to strengthen points of weakness and disadvantage. An adult with such knowledge can guide the child to cultivate traits of character of which there is most need.

For the individual to merely resolve to live a life of moral rectitude seldom is fruitful of permanent results, else the multitudes who become converted at popular evangelical revivals would populate the land largely with holy men and women. At the time they feel the surge of great desire to live a righteous life. But mostly within a few months afterwards their lives run in much the same channels of partial goodness and partial error that they did before. Not because the desire at the time of conversion was lacking in sincerity, but because, as mapped by the planets in their charts of birth, their unconscious minds contain many other very strong desires.

It is the release of the desires, stored within the unconscious mind, that determines habitual behavior. Aspects between planets indicate whether desires tend to express constructively, in a direction beneficial to self and others, or tend to be spent in riotous living, subversive activities, or in channels that are detrimental to society. Desire energies within the unconscious mind, mapped by any planet, can, with proper training, be made to express constructively instead of destructively. It must express its own essential type of activity, it is true, but there is full scope for it to express that type of activity through some avenue beneficial to the individual and beneficial to society.

Most who become criminals could have been transformed into honest law abiding citizens if someone, during their childhood, had taken them in hand and afforded them a little training based upon astrological knowledge. For instance, the problem child who in later life becomes a petty thief because they never learned the discipline of making an honest living, is nearly always a child who, because of over sensitiveness—revealed by upper-octave planets dominant in their chart—has never been able to fit into the conventional methods of life. Yet, unless that child is decidedly deficient mentally, which commonly is not the case, there is always something they can do in which pride is satisfied.

Everyone has the desire for significance. All resent the feeling of inferiority. Due to peculiarities of makeup, the child with heavy afflictions to Pluto, Neptune and Uranus may find it very difficult to compete in school with other children where conventional forms of learning are required. If unduly ridiculed or punished because he/she will not study, the aversion to such effort is heightened. They become completely discouraged. Soon they begin to think they are quite different from others. A feeling develops which causes them to be unable or unwilling to make the effort others make to attain success in life. Cast upon their own later, they become a hobo and drift into petty crime.

Every child who is not hopelessly deficient mentally has certain capabilities that are mapped by the positions of the planets in their chart of birth, which give a certain facility in some special endeavor. Even if they are frustrated in their studies or the parental home environment offers great discouragement, it is always possible, by tact, to gain a child's interest. Later their efforts can be directed into some constructive activity which utilizes the natural facility. Proper praise and encouragement when such activities produce results bring a glow of self-esteem. In this line there is a satisfaction for the Drive for Significance. Continued encouragement and praise for work well done, especially along the lines of their natural aptitudes, build the habit of looking to their work as something that can lend itself to making a living, and in which, they can hold up their head and be respected by others.

The more bold and daring criminal frequently was abused in childhood because their initiative and aggressiveness got them into mischief. The aggressive thought-cells, mapped by a prominent Mars in their chart of birth, contain so much energy that they must express in some form of destructive or constructive activity. When, in exuberance of spirit, the youngster leads their companions in some daring exploit, they are beaten at home and made to feel miserable at school. With so much Mars energy they cannot be idle. As no proper avenue of expenditure is at hand, it is quite natural they should get into trouble.

This trouble draws the negative attention of elders, adding to a sense of importance. Other children see this child as a hero each time they engage in some hazardous undertaking, such as grabbing fruit from under the nose of a vendor, or breaking the seal on a boxcar to get the watermelons within. To be a hero is reward enough for any Mars child, even if in the process he incurs trouble with authority.

Thus, through one pleasure after another, in which authority is flouted and legal restraints broken, the child is conditioned to gain satisfaction for both the desire for significance and the desire for adventure in the avenues of smaller crimes. These lead on to larger ones. Greater hazard or risk equals a sense of being a greater hero. Finally society has on its hands a confirmed criminal.

Had someone conversant with astrology taken the child early in hand and devised an outlet, such as building something or working with tools of repair, by which according to the other planetary positions in the chart the Mars energy could express satisfactorily along some constructive line, the same child, finding himself a hero in the eyes of other children for mechanical skill, would never have become a criminal, but a doctor or an engineer instead.

Furthermore, the individual who aims to live a moral life, but at times finds the conditions of temptation so strong as to cause him to act quite discreditably, has a powerful lever to rise above such periods through familiarity with astrology. The birth chart shows the trends against which one specially needs to guard. The progressed aspects indicate the exact periods in which environmental pressure will be brought to bear in the direction of some special weakness. Knowing beforehand the nature of the condition with which they will be confronted, and when it will be present, the individual can develop the tools and attitudes to escape the moral transgression.

On the one hand, progressed planetary vibrations reaching a certain group of thought-cells within one's unconscious mind may give so much discordant energy that they stimulate powerful impulses to act in a way at variance with what is considered normal, constructive behavior. This energy may further stimulate activities which have previously been kept somewhat in restraint. On the other hand, if the individual recognizes that the progressed force of energy that is urging undesirable action will subside when the progressed aspect has passed, he/she can choose to behave like the white figure at the feet of the hierophant. This knowledge can also aid the individual to take precautionary action by shaping the environment and training oneself in advance to choose the constructive conduct the white figure represents.

True religion seeks a larger perspective on what is and is not moral behavior. I seeks behavior that is in the best interest of the individual and others. It is not merely the premeditated acts of an individual, or those in which one is desirous of doing wrong, that are immoral. A person who runs down and kills a pedestrian with their automobile may have no desire to do so, but they nevertheless injured another human being. The head of some bank who, through its failure, leads a whole community to be impoverished, may have no intention of causing others loss. They merely may have invested the money entrusted to them in assets which became frozen. Yet the fact remains that through the confidence placed in them others have lost their all.

True morality, in this wider sense, can be assisted by astrology and in no other way. This is the deeper significance of the black figure of Arcanum 5, representing the tendency to act, under progressed afflictions, in a manner not merely derogatory to oneself, but injurious to others; and by the white figure of Arcanum 5, representing the tendency, under better progressed aspects, to act in a manner helpful both to oneself and to society.

Had the person who ran down and killed a pedestrian been conversant with astrology, they may have recognized the progressed energy operating in their life at the time and have taken sufficient precaution to avoid the accident. Had the bank president been conversant with astrology, the progressed aspects in their chart would have informed them that it was not a time to invest too freely in assets which could not be quickly liquidated. Had they been truly moral, they would have foregone those financial transactions which led to the ruin of self and others.

Arcanum 5 of the tarot explains quite clearly, in the language of symbolical pictograph, that no one can be most highly moral who is ignorant of the influence of astrological forces in his life.

(This concludes part 6 of 23)

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