Book review: Exploring Jupiter

Stephen Arroyo, born October 6, 1946, in Kansas City, Missouri, is an American astrologer who wrote several psychologically oriented astrology books like Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements (1975), Chart Interpretation Handbook (1990), Astrology, Karma and Transformation (1992), Exploring Jupiter (1996). His astrological views are similar with those of Liz Greene, another representative for modern psychologically oriented astrology, and different in some essential points from what is accepted by traditional astrology, for example he uses non-Ptolemaic aspects (quincunx, semi-sextile etc.), dissociate aspects, which happen when planets are in an aspect but the signs they are placed within are not in the same aspect relationship, for example, Mars 28 degrees Libra is considered to square Venus 2 degrees Aquarius even the signs are in trine, accepts mutual receptions between planets which are not in a Ptolemaic aspect, considers retrograde planets not to be debilitated, associates sign elements to houses (fire, earth, air, water houses), uses modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto like co-rulers for Aquarius, Pisces, and Scorpio. For his work he was honored in 1992 with the Regulus Award for Theory and Understanding and became one of the best-selling astrology authors.

Understanding Jupiter

In the first three chapters 1. A Framework for Understanding Jupiter, 2. Jupiter in the Birth Charts and 3. Exploring the Jupiterian Personality the author tries to define the characteristics of Jupiter by itself and in relation with other planets and signs. The books starts with the Hermetic theory of the unity between the man-microcosm and macrocosm where Jupiter represents the processes which help us understand our position:

“I cannot help but feel that Jupiter’s bigness and broad vision is inextricably linked to the perennial human search for a large truth and for an experience of oneness with the universe.”

Jupiter is also defined in another manner by analyzing the differences between him and opposed planets and signs. The relation Jupiter/Mercury opposes the Mercurian logic, knowledge, concrete, present with the Jupiterian intuition, understanding, abstract, future. The relation Gemini/Sagittarius shows two different mental, intellectual attitudes with Gemini looking for concrete, rational knowledge, having an empirical view and Sagittarius looking for a spiritual, intuitive, holistic knowledge. The author also presents the relations Sagittarius/Virgo, Sagittarius/Pisces, Jupiter/Neptune, Jupiter/Saturn and Jupiter/Venus. Among other interesting ideas he mentions that the Mercurian signs, Virgo and Gemini, tends to demystify life while the Jupiterian signs, Sagittarius and Pisces, tends to mystify life.

The best analyze between planets I think is the Jupiter/Saturn relation, where the two planets are counterbalancing each other. A strong Saturn will keep Jupiter not to become extreme, arrogant, over-confident, self-indulgent, risking too much, not to rely too much in luck, fate, fortune. Also a good balance between Saturn and Jupiter indicate a good business man. I think this is a good point and the balance between Saturn and Jupiter is an important aspect in the chart. I can say that especially when Jupiter is also in aspect with Mars the person needs a strong Saturn to control the tendency to “push his luck”.

In chapter 2 one can find some useful guidelines for interpreting Jupiter. It is something of this sort:

“A strong Jupiter usually manifests as a hopeful, buoyant, upbeat personality – often quite humorous. Jupiter’s sign often gives a clue to the type of humor. […] Jupiter’s position shows where probable success, prosperity, and rapid development are likely, for it is there that bountiful energy can be experienced and that one has enhanced abilities to express oneself and share with society at large.” 

In chapter 3 you’ll find the astrological configurations which can make a person embarrassed to express her Jupiterian attitude: a prominence of Capricorn, Virgo or many planets in water signs. I think this is a very good observation which touches a rare subject in astrological literature.

In every chapter of this book the reader will observe two fundamental characteristics: quotas from other astrologers and detailed practical examples. Stephen Arroyo uses ideas, opinions, quotes from many authors like Charles Carter, Jeff Mayo, Antony Aveni, Theodore Roszak, Isabelle Pagan, Page Smith, David Humblin, Dane Rudhyar, Tracy Marks, Grant Lewi, Donna Cunningham etc., so you can find other astrologer’s opinion about Jupiter too. The other feature, practical examples of the astrological principles, is made by presenting and analyzing charts of famous people. In this part one can find detailed analyzes (1-3 pages) for George Washington, Winston Churchill, Andrew Carnegie and Paul Mellon (Jupiterian philanthropists), Dale Carnegie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Jupiter in Signs and Houses

Chapters 4. Jupiter in Fire Signs, 5. Jupiter in Earth Signs, 6. Jupiter in Air Signs and 7. Jupiter in Water Signs presents the explanations for Jupiter position in every zodiacal sign. In 8. Jupiter in the Houses one can find the interpretations for every house position. The analyzes are good, I can say one of the best for Jupiter literature. Also, are presented the charts for: Woody Allen (Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in Sagittarius), Ralph Waldo Emerson (Jupiter and Saturn in Virgo), Amelia Earhart (Jupiter and Mars in Virgo), John Glenn (Jupiter and Saturn in Virgo), Margaret Thatcher (Jupiter in Capricorn), George Gershwin (Sun, Jupiter in Libra), Albert Einstein (Jupiter in Aquarius), Michael Jordan (Jupiter in Pisces), Jacques Cousteau (Jupiter in House 1, Libra), Jules Verne (Jupiter in House 6, Scorpio), Franklin Roosevelt (Jupiter in House 9), Margaret Mead and Emily Dickinson. So, you can see that are plenty of examples which will make the lecture agreeable.

Chapter 9. Ruled by Jupiter: Sagittarius and Pisces Rising presents another subject treated rarely in the astrological literature, a detailed analyze and analogy between the Sagittarius and Pisces Ascendants, two signs which have a square relationship. The author writes about important differences like the Sagittarius much more extroverted self-expression mode, leadership and enterprising nature or about the intuitive, inspirational, secretive nature of Pisces. He also emphasize the similarities between them: philosophical attitude, optimism, faith, pleasure to share their knowledge, devotion to a cause, lack of discrimination, unsettled life, talkative etc. Chart examples from famous people are Eleanor Roosevelt, Bob Dylan, Hermann Hesse (all with Sagittarius Ascendant) and Robert Redford, Ringo Starr, Walter Mondale, Konrad Adenauer (Pisces Ascendants).

In Chapter 10. Jupiter’s Aspects in the Birth Chart Stephen Arroyo gives interpretations for Jupiter interactions with the other planets, not for every aspect (conjunction, sextile etc.), but in general. You’ll find, for example, Jupiter/Mars interchanges in 1-2 pages filled with the results which appear when those 2 planets energies are blending in any aspect:

“If it is any Jupiter combination that can rival that of Jupiter and the Sun for creativity, leadership, and liking for power, it is the interaction of Jupiter and Mars. Always strong willed, these people constantly strive to expand the scope of their activities and influence. They are so physically restless that they require constant action and become easily discontented if they do not have an outlet for their assertive urges. This is true for worldly achievement as well as for sexual expression. Enthusiastically tackling all sorts of challenges comes naturally to them, and they are rarely lacking in self-confidence once they have become conscious of their inner strength – which can take some time if there are challenging aspects to one of both of these planets, or if Mars is weak by sign placement.”

Like in the previous chapters, you’ll find many practical examples of famous people charts: John Lennon (Jupiter conjunction Saturn, quincunx Sun), Arthur Schlesinger (Jupiter trine the Moon), William Blake (Jupiter conjunction Mercury and the Sun), Francisco Franco (Jupiter opposing Saturn, trine the Sun), Clara Barton (Jupiter conjunction Saturn), Mary Baker Eddy (Jupiter conjunction Saturn), Albert Schweitzer (Jupiter opposing Neptune), Mohandas Gandhi (Jupiter with Pluto).

Chapter 11. Transits Involving Jupiter presents the interpretations for the transits of Jupiter to the natal planets and some advices which should help us to evaluate a transit. Stephen Arroyo writes about the station periods, which seem to be very significant, and the tendency to over-evaluate Jupiter’s transits. From my personal experience I observed that Jupiter transits are not so good as they are described in most astrology books. The results depend very much to the natal position of Jupiter and the signs from and toward he makes the aspects.


Conclusion. It is a good book of modern astrology, one of the few about Jupiter. The reader will enjoy reading it because it is clear, easy to understand, full of examples and has interesting topics like an analogy between Sagittarius and Pisces Ascendants, the polarity Gemini/Sagittarius, the contrast Sagittarius/Virgo, the relation between Jupiter and Saturn among other usual subjects like Jupiter in signs, houses or aspects. The perspective from which Stephen Arroyo treats those subjects is that of a modern psychological oriented astrologer. My evaluation is 8,4.