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The Planets
and their Symbols
by Dane Rudhyar

First Published in
Everywoman's Astrology

Jupiter and Saturn

With these two planets we reach the realm of social activity and of the "social sense" in individual human beings. The spontaneous self-centered outgoings of Mars more often than not lead to self-undoing, or at least to the scattering of the energies of the personality along a multitude of unrelated and perhaps anarchistic (non-ordered) ways. This explosive condition is symbolized in the solar system by the band of tiny asteroids which occurs between Mars and Jupiter.
      Beyond this area of self-scattering activity we find the largest planet of the solar system, Jupiter, with its many satellites, which perhaps were asteroids captured by the powerful gravitational field of astrology's "Great Benefic." Jupiter is, however, by no means always a highly beneficent or fortunate influence, unless the person whose chart being studied is a gregarious conformist that is, unless the social sense of that person dominates his consciousness of being an "individual," autonomous and self-sufficient.
      Jupiter represents essentially the realization in a human being that alone he is normally unable to meet the harsh challenges of life on an earth teeming with potential enemies and dangers, but that by cooperating with his fellow men he can handle successfully the problems of existence.
      "In union there is strength," is Jupiter's motto; and union here has a very extensive meaning. From union an organized society comes forth; from union also, at a more psychological level, is born the religious sense, and all forms of culture and art, all social institutions and first of all, language and the various kinds of symbols and myths on which religion, culture and political states were founded.
      This union must become stabilized if it is to be effectual. It is not enough for men to want to live and work together; it is also necessary that each person be consciousness, not only of his place and function in the communal whole, but aware as well of the places and functions of his fellow men, and not merely aware of these places and functions, but willing (or compelled) to accept and respect them. This is where Saturn comes in. It guarantees to every person sole and exclusive rights to his particular place and function in nature. This Saturnian guarantee takes the form of "law and order", in the community, of state institutions, courts of justice, police forces, etc.
      In the individual person Saturn represents the ego considered as a "social construct" that is, as a definite and individual pattern of behavior, feeling and thinking - which the human being builds through childhood and adolescence in order to cope in his own way with the pressures and everyday challenges of his immediate physical and social environment. This is the basis of we call the person's character.
      The ego pattern of one's character may be rigid or flexible, heavy, and dark, or translucent to spiritual forces from space, but it must be there if the individual is not to be a more or less helpless medium, changed by any passing current or superficial contact. Thus it is quite senseless to speak of Saturn basically as the "Great Malefic." It becomes a malefic power only if it leads to psychological or social rigidity, if it dominates ruthlessly or stupidly a consciousness frightened by a sense of insecurity and neurotic loneliness, perhaps as the result of personal shocks, social tragedy, or utter lack of parental love in childhood or early adolescence.
      Jupiter and Saturn are polar opposites; the former expands, the latter contracts, in order to consolidate. The graphic symbols used for these two planets reveal clearly this polarity, and the area of life where the planets' actions most basically are felt. It is the area of adjustment to everyday life and of organic and psychological growth represented by the Moon. The symbols of the planets are formed by a cross and a lunar crescent reduced a line.

In Jupiter's symbol the lunar crescent or curved line is attached to the horizontal and spreads above it, suggesting a counterclockwise motion. In Saturn's symbol the curved line is attached to the bottom of the vertical line of the cross, and it suggests a clockwise action. The Jupiter hieroglyph resembles closer the number 4, while Saturn's is like the number 5. All of these points are very significant and could be analyzed in great detail along cosmic, occult and numerological lines.
      The cross represents here the individual person, and the lunar crescent the life energy of bio-psychological growth. Jupiter's symbol represents life coming "down" into the concrete experience, seeking expansion through a multitude of contacts and sensations. This is also the deepest meaning of the number 4, which represents the basic vibration of the earth and of mankind as a species of life.
      The "normal" human operates along this mass vibration of the planet, a planet whose main function is to provide a field for the utmost focalization of spiritual energies. For this social consciousness is necessary, because society with its particularized, institutionalized cultures and its rationalistic languages (required for clear thinking) alone can provide a human person with all he needs for becoming a focused expression of the Universal Mind, or of "God."
      Saturn assists Jupiter in steadying the conditions of this great spiritual experiment, humanity. The deity of time sees to it that the original impulse of the experiment is never forgotten; thus his conservatism, his clock-mindedness, his insistence on accuracy and integrity.
      But Saturn does more. As it isolates the individual from (or within) the social mass, Saturn demands that the individual person be strictly and purely what he or she is by birthright. The symbol for that planet is like number 5 because Man, the individual, is a five-pointed star a pentagram. As such he emerges form the mass vibration of humanity, the 4, with an immense potentiality for growth.
      As a Jupiterian being, man may be the representative of a divine power that cosmic power which beats through and sustains the whole earth and mankind; he may be priest-hierophant, or king by divine right. He leads the collectivity, yet is actually molded by the needs and degree of consciousness of this collectivity. He is an officiant in the great ritual of our planet's and of mankind's eonic evolution.
      In its highest aspect, by contrast, Saturn refers to the adept, the man who has emerged totally from the mass vibration of humanity and who is "a law unto himself" because he is now, purely and fully, his self. He is beyond caste and conformity. He stands in the light of the God within him. He is the "I am that I am." But, as every power in the universe is twofold, positive and negative, the Saturn individual can also be the dark adept, masterful in the way of destruction, utterly rigid in his superlative ego, utterly isolated and self-condemned to an eventual spiritual disintegration, to the death of the soul.
      Jupiter also has his negative aspect. He is the ambitious high priest or fascist dictator who uses the blind devotion of the faithful to glorify himself and the religious-political office which he has identified himself. He is the powerful man of business and finance who manipulates a worldwide industrial and commercial empire, keeping people in either crude or subtle forms of subjection. He is the propaganda man with no respect for truth, who gorges himself with food, power or lust beneficent and generous only in such spectacular ways as serve his purpose and immortalize socially his name.
      The realm where Jupiter and Saturn operate does not go beyond the limits of the earth's consciousness. The planet Saturn defines the outer boundaries of the Sun-centered system. What occurs beyond Saturn is an intermediary zone within which great tensions between the solar system and the galaxy operate on a cosmic scale.

Read Part Four
Uranus and Neptune

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill.
Copyright © 1966 by Dane Rudhyar.
All Rights Reserved.

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