Demetra George Astrology News

September 2016 Newsletter

Jupiter in Libra: The Justice of Zeus

Ancient Coin ScalesThe themes of justice, law, order, equal rights legislation, and the Supreme Court will be highlighted during Jupiter’s passage through Libra imaged as the Scales of justice.  I am going to look to myth in order to speculate on these trends for this coming year from September 2016 to October 2017.

Mythological Zeus (Jupiter) was the King of the Heavens and supreme among the gods. He was venerated for bringing order, justice, and peace to the world after winning the Great War against the previous dynasty of Titan gods. In his benefic aspect, he shared his power, giving his brothers Poseidon (Neptune) and Hades (Pluto) rule over the Sea and the Underworld, as well as allotting other gods and goddesses their own titles, places of worship and share of offerings. Zeus mediated conflicts among the gods and handed down laws which he gave to kings to administer his justice among mortals.  He was the protector of oaths, of strangers, of suppliants, and of the law of host and guest. Those who broke an oath or injured a stranger offended the honor of Zeus and were punished by him, either in their own person or through their descendants. The assemblies of the people and the meetings of the council by which each city-state was governed were also under Zeus’ protection. 

In his fierce aspect, according to classicist Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Zeus defended the established order (i.e., the establishment) and he punished mortals whose injustices disturbed it. At the same time, he sternly repressed any attempts of men to rise above the humble place where they belong. (1) The sin of hubris was the greatest offense to Zeus, the excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods.

The image of the Scales of Justice stands behind the essential meaning of the zodiacal sign of Libra, known in contemporary times as a sign of fairness, harmony, and equality.  While the stars of Libra were identified by the Babylonians as MUL Zibanu, the balance or bar of heaven, in ancient Greece this constellation was known primarily as the Claws of the Scorpion. The development of Hellenistic astrology in the 3rd century BCE was influenced by the astral theology of the Egyptians. Maat was the goddess of truth and justice. On her golden scales, she weighed the souls of the dead against the feather of truth. Manetho, an Egyptian priest and historian wrote "... the Claws, for which holy men have changed the name and call the balance, because it stretches out on both sides like the sides of a balance...”. (2)

When the Sun enters Libra on the autumnal equinox, day and night are weighed in perfectly equal balance.

By Roman times, Libra as the Scales, also called the Yoke, had fully entered into the assembly of zodiacal constellations. It was sometimes depicted as a maiden wearing a wreath of laurels upon her head and carrying the Scales of Justice. This maiden was known as Dike, the daughter of Zeus. Dike was the Greek personification of justice with the implication of maintaining order through adherence to social norms and rules of convention. Dike’s mother was Themis, Zeus’ first counsellor, often seated beside his throne advising him on the precepts of divine law and the rules of fate which not even Zeus could overturn. Their daughter Dike watched the deeds of mortals and recorded the violations of justice so that Zeus could punish them. Dike protected human laws and a wise administration of justice.

Jupiter in Libra, the god of justice, weighs the deeds of humanity upon the Scales of Justice and enforces his code of honor. Libra is the domicile of Venus, who becomes Jupiter’s lady lord during his passage through her domain. At the inception of his 13-month reign in this sign, Venus will also be in Libra, co-present at his side and giving him her benediction. She will provide strong benefic support for Jupiter to accomplish his agenda for justice in upholding both the spirit and letter of the laws in the courts of mortals. We should anticipate new legislation for greater equality and rights among the various minority groups, especially women’s rights (Venus), more fair and just decisions on the Supreme Court, addressing injustices in law enforcement and the criminal and military systems, and punishment of those who display the ancient crime of hubris, placing themselves above and beyond the law to which everyone else is subject. We might even witness negotiation, mediation, and compromise re-enter our political process.

As Jupiter moves forward, it will oppose Uranus and make a superior square to Pluto, constellating an explosive t-square in dynamic cardinal signs. Jupiter’s ferocity will emerge at those who seek to overthrow and destroy the rule of law and established order. Because Jupiter is the great benefic, even with these adversarial aspects, it has the potential to impose its positive significations upon the destructive forces of Uranus and Pluto. The best-case scenario is that Jupiter will have the power to enforce a moral justice and reckoning upon those who flaunt the law for their own self-interest and try to usurp the supremacy of the established order.

Personal news

The Hellenistic Astrology Retreat that was held in Portland in July was wildly successful. The participants have continued to meet by conference call to study and discuss charts, anchoring the application and use of the many new techniques they learned. Stay tuned for details about next year’s retreat. 

Portland Astrology Workshop

In lieu of monthly webinars this year, I am making steady progress in writing the Hellenistic/Traditional workbook. The most recent working title is Hellenistic Astrology Applied: The Art of Judgment.  I am open to your suggestions for other titles.

My favorite new example of the power of planetary joys comes from the chart of my 16-year old grandson. With Sagittarius rising and the Sun dignified in Leo in the 9th house of its joy, he had the great good fortune to meet and be hugged by the President of Portugal during his first travel overseas – royalty in a foreign land!

Mercury is now my annual profected lord of the year, and I have a busy travel and conference teaching schedule.

View my teaching schedule

Endnotes

  1. Lloyd-Jones, Hugh. The Justice of Zeus. University of Californian Press, 1971, p. 26.
  2. Quoted in Ancient Astrology Theory and Practice: The Mathesis of Firmicus Maternus, trans. Jean Rhys Bram; Noyes Classical Studies, 1971; note 22, p.305.

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