Mercury vs. Jupiter

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Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:38 pm

I'd like to pose a discussion question and see what comes out of it. I find that there is something that I think should be quite basic in astrology that, 51 years into the study of it, I don't know (don't have a ready answer for). I'm wondering what all of you think on the matter. It is this:

In what way(s) is it that Mercury is the polar opposite of Jupiter?

I don't have a ready answer for this. I can come up with a couple of one-liners that don't really satisfy me (e.g., a polarity of fact vs. belief, or reason vs. faith, which overlooks the significant academic learning aspect of Jupiter and, in any case, isn't a very thorough explanation). I see that Jupiter relies more on confidence and a prayer than on calculation, e.g., at the gambling table Jupiter isn't the one counting cards. None of this seems very deep, though.

I might as well share that there is a more practical question behind my bringing this up. The immediate question is: In what way is Sagittarius specifically non-Mercurial? It's quite easy top see how Gemini is non-Jovian, but these are ways that don't seem to have much to do with Mercury traits. I can tell you pretty easily how every other detriment or fall of a planet describes basic traits of a sign, but I can't tell you a single way that Sagittarius is defined by being non-Mercurial. (I've ignored the question for decades with the thought that, oh, with all that mutability, Mercury's so adaptable and flighty that it's no much of a detriment.)

I think the key to that question will be found in understanding exactly how Mercury is opposite Jupiter.

What think ye all? What have I been missing?
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:30 pm

Jupiter is settled. Mercury is unsettled.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Parto » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:42 pm

Maybe that basic idea isn't "deep," but I've found it satisfying enough. I'd pick the words (same thing): knowledge vs. confidence. I also think of how Mercury is similar to Saturn, so that they are "constraining" vs. Jupiter's "expanding."

Elsewhere, I wrote:
Mercury's reality patterning and possible rigidity can be too constraining to Jupiter's need for expansion and optimism ("never tell me the odds" sort of thing).
To which you added:
Mercury is fact-based. Jupiter has a fundamentally religious type of thinking. Mercury by itself likes to have hands-on, to be putting the picture puzzle together with his or her own hands, whereas Jupiter prefers to be abstracted to a great height and contemplate from a distance.
Basically the same thing all-around. No getting away from this root idea, so I'll tentatively assume it provides the answer somehow.
In what way is Sagittarius specifically non-Mercurial?
I'd go back to the word I picked, "constraining." Sagittarius doesn't want to be constrained, it wants to expand and rise. But wait, isn't it constrained by, say, social codes and expectations? Even if it wants to expand and rise, it wants to do so under an established framework.

So, trying again: Sagittarius doesn't want to be constrained by apparent reality (or "actual" reality, whatever that is). It's quite willing to leverage that reality for its purposes, and to study it much like a Mercurial would, but its intention in doing so, its drive is quite different.

(Back to Jupiter in general.) Doesn't the academic learning aspect of Jupiter have to do with growth and status? Especially if it's in a formal context, among colleagues, it would seem to me that it is. Mercury is curiosity. Learning for its own sake.

(Back to Sagittarius specifically.) I could argue that the "social codes and expectations" under which Sagittarius operates have nothing at all to do with facts in the Mercurial sense ("what is so" about the world), so it doesn't fall under the category of constraints that would bother it. Have it excluded or rejected by its society and yeah, that would bother it deeply. But having a society with rules, customs, expectations? It lives for that stuff. Stuff which doesn't have to do with facts a priori. Societies can organize themselves in so many differents ways, and have done so. It's not really rational; it might be pre-rational. And Sagittarius embraces it. That's not Mercurial at all. You can rationally gauge many things about how to best run aspects of a society, but a lot would be "arbitrary" under a Mercurial perspective; why some values and beliefs, and not others?

I don't know if this made any sense or added anything new, but to me Sagittarius does seem non-Mercurial.
Last edited by Parto on Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Parto » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:55 pm

Came up with something else.

Hyper-intellectual people tend to not be very social. Sagittarius is very social. That's one thing.

But why do hyper-intellectual people tend to not be very social? From what I can tell, often it's because such people are too self-conscious. Is Sagittarius too self-conscious? Maybe it it feels wronged or rejected. But not on principle.

Another possibility: Maybe while Mercury is more interested in things, Jupiter is more interested in people. Sagittarius seems to be.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:40 pm

Jupiter Sets at Dawn wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:30 pm
Jupiter is settled. Mercury is unsettled.
Soon after I posted the above, it occurred to me that, physiologically, Mercury conveys a state of anxiety, i.e., nervous tension, while Jupiter is a state of relaxation. Your post reminded me of this.

Come to think of it, in the Sheldon model Jupiter is clearly visceratonia and Mercury is one of the two clearest examples of cerebrotonia. That might be a definite path to pursue. (Now, where in storage is that notebook with my detailed breakdown of Sheldon's characterizations.)
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:47 pm

Parto, thanks for playing. Some notes:
Parto wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:42 pm
In what way is Sagittarius specifically non-Mercurial?
I'd go back to the word I picked, "constraining." Sagittarius doesn't want to be constrained, it wants to expand and rise. But wait, isn't it constrained by, say, social codes and expectations? Even if it wants to expand and rise, it wants to do so under an established framework.
I think of Sagittarius as very constrained. (I mean, I can really see why Tropicalists have no cognitive dissonance thinking they are Saturn types.) "Tight" is one of the first words that comes to mind.

Jupiter, by itself, though... a relaxed version of that. There is codification and propriety and all those "stiff" words, but in a more comfortable way.
Doesn't the academic learning aspect of Jupiter have to do with growth and status?
Probably. Your point being that there is a motive difference. (We are speaking of Sagittarius here more than Jupiter, right?) Still... it's hardly anti-intellectual even if the motive is that intellectual can be snooty. (I often have conversations about whether there is is a real-life difference between a wine snob and a wine geek.)

BTW your point about Mercury and Saturn is another way to say what I meant about Mercury and cerebrotonia.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:20 am

Mercury is the wind. Jupiter is the rain. (Been moving seedlings into larger pots today.)

Plants need to be disturbed to grow strong. The wind pushing on them encourages them to grow strong roots, and if it pushes enough to tear the finer roots just a little, it encourages them to grow more fine roots, giving them better nutrition. If you plant seeds and then just run a toothpick under a seedling that's a tap root, a stem and two seed leaves, it doubles the growth rate.

Plants also need water to grow. Their roots take up nutrients that are dissolved in water. As long as the soil isn't so soggy there's no air between the tiny bits of soil. That's as disastrous as any flood. Too wet is as bad as too dry and the plant will wilt.

Very wet soil and strong winds are disastrous too. No matter how strong the roots, if the soil is so wet when the wind hits the plant (including trees) the soil won't move with the rootball, and they will separate, and the plant will go down. Some can be put back upright and continue to grow, but something like a tree will lose too much of the fine root system and won't be able to take up enough water to support itself till the fine roots grow back.

Mercury the wind and Jupiter Pluvius are very different but both needed, in moderation, to grow well-rooted plants. And people.

Mercury communication. Jupiter oration.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:54 am

Having grown up with a bunch of male Sagittarians (father, grandfather, cousins. Brother and Ex both Moon) I have seen them be extremely restrictive of other people as a default position, and very controlling unless pushed back on hard. Mercurial types seem far more tolerant of others doing what they want. Sagittarians insist on having rules, although some of them won't tell people what the rules are till they've violated them. Then they get sarcastic and even mean.
Mercury seems to make rules for themselves, although they often break them.

I am reminded of my father, a Sagittarian, sitting in his large (throne-sized) chair in the living room with a couple of inlaws, while maybe 20 of my mother's siblings and their children were all in the kitchen talking over each other, keeping track of 6 conversations at once while cooking a dozen different things, no one person in charge of anything. (usually Thanksgiving.) My father would be livid because nobody was hanging on his every word as he tried to hold court and intone his opinions and impart his wisdom. Nobody should talk over him and all of us did. His family, with my Sagittarian grandfather, always waited till whoever was talking was finished and everybody listened when "the men" spoke and nobody giggled at them. To their faces.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:58 am

Your Sagittarian profiles are wonderful! I'm not sure this applies to all of them, but it certainly applies to a large percentage of Sag Suns - and has seeds that apply to more or less all.

I'm finding this an interesting discussion and hope others jump in to continue it.

But coming back to where I hope to end up, the question that keeps recurring in my head is: In what ways is the character/nature of Sagittarius specifically non-Mercury? (The answer should be something fundamental and far-ranging about the sign.)

To show the roots of my thinking (and hopefully give some new perspectives people might not have considered): We are accustomed to thinking of the constellations as described by the ruling and exalted planets. I submit that they are described just as much by the detriment and fall planets (those ruling or exalted in the opposite sign). In fact, sometimes those two are so interwoven that you can't really separate them. Lately, I've been a phase of taking idle minutes for the mental exercise of thinking about each sign only in terms of its debilitated planets, excluding the dignified planets altogether. (It's just a thought exercise.) This is entirely easy for me with the single exception of defining Sagittarius as non-Mercury.

BTW, it's occurred to me that this might be because Mercury isn't the real ruler of Gemini anymore than Jupiter is a ruler of Pisces or Saturn of Aquarius. Perhaps we'll one day find that there is another planet (not yet discovered or, more likely, not yet identified) that takes this over and suddenly makes sense of everything the way we today say that Uranus explains everything about Aquarius that never made sense before. But let's not go there right now - I think it would derail (by prematurely terminating) the present conversation, which has its own merit.

Ignoring the dignified planets in each sign, it is easy to describe Libra and Aquarius as un-solar; Scorpio and Capricorn as un-lunar; Pisces as un-Mercury; Virgo, Scorpio, and Aries as un-Venus; Taurus, Cancer, and perhaps Libra as un-Mars; Gemini and Capricorn as un-Jupiter; Cancer and Aries as un-Saturn; Leo as un-Uranus; Virgo as un-Neptune; and Libra as un-Pluto. None of these is hard. In fact, most of them are quickly obvious with just a few seconds of thought. (I recommend this thought exercise.) -- But, notice what's missing: I can't tell you how Sagittarius is fundamentally un-Mercury in the same way that I can tell you how Pisces is fundamentally un-Mercury or Scorpio is inherently un-Venus, etc.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:03 am

To stir this up a bit, I'm going to list, side-by-side, my current best interpretations for Mercury and Jupiter angular, aspecting Sun, or aspecting Moon. These summaries have the weakness of missing fine points for the sake of brevity and concentration, and the strength that they focus mostly on more essential details.


Mercury Foreground: Alert, attentive, curious, observant, strategic, analytic. Mentally sharp, hard to fool (knows more about you than you think). Youthful animation, keenness. Easily bored without mental stimulation. Knack for handling business (entrepreneurial). Good at detailed work. Nervous (anxiety? worry? touchy?). Little emotional affect, hard to read. Curiosity drives sexual choices.

Jupiter foreground: Positive, optimistic, oriented to the good and qualitative. Authoritative, strives for expertise and leadership. Unusually lucky. Aspires to (enjoys) life of leisure and its perks (seeks to improve self and conditions). Generous, congenial, tolerant, good-humored, kind. Sexually giving. Needs esteem and inclusion (usually well received; can be overly role-conscious). Responds to cultural totems, heritage, tradition, social graces, social and ceremonial rituals. Champion of justice and fair play. (If afflicted: air of superiority, judgmental, greedy, envious; making own luck through shady ethics or crime.)


Moon-Mercury aspects: Intellect fused with the emotions, especially with subconscious patterns; thus, quick at assessment, intuitive, strategic (cagey, deceptive). Personality dominated by intellect & nervous system. Tremendous mental output & capacity to absorb knowledge (apt at languages, good memory). Can seem ‘all business’ in emotional matters & emotionally stubborn in factual ones: Under duress, “reasonableness” competes with reactive emotion.

Moon-Jupiter aspects: Ambitious, desires success, aspires to take the lead. A natural ‘host,’ likes to play ringmaster in all life areas including in social & sexual hospitality. Usually good-humored, entertaining, kind, generous. Drawn to quality, desires only the best (things & circumstances) for self & loved ones. Strong beliefs (often religious or patriotic intensity, moralistic, judgmental). Social elitism (possible feigned superiority, aristocratic conceit).


Sun-Mercury aspects: Resourceful, knack for organization, likely will do well in the business world, effectively self-expressive. One’s ideas are (unconsciously?) equated with the ego, so altering an opinion may feel like compromising oneself. Intellectual pride, stubbornness. Strong need to identify oneself with rationality, to affirm one’s sanity and reasonableness.

Sun-Jupiter aspects: Generous, kind, warm, amiable, upbeat, tolerant. Visible self-confidence. Strong need for acceptance and friendship. A general dislike of problems (seems to float through life with amazingly little care for circumstances). Lucky: confident the universe will bail them out, problems usually resolve remarkably easily, but has a hard time persevering against real adversity when it finally strikes. (Extravagant, prodigal, loves leisure, overly reliant on luck.) Mind is philosophical or religious.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Parto » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:13 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:40 pm
Soon after I posted the above, it occurred to me that, physiologically, Mercury conveys a state of anxiety, i.e., nervous tension, while Jupiter is a state of relaxation.
Anxiety can be juxtaposed to confidence, which befits Jupiter.

If we say Sagittarius is constrained or tight, Mercury is then always moving, quick, dynamic.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Veronica » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:38 pm

Honestly I have always thought it strange that these planets are concidered polar at all. It seemed so outlandish to think that the smallest fastest and closest planet to the sun would be able to polarize with such a mammoth and slow poke as Jupiter.
I always feel that Jupiter and Saturn would be on opposite sides.

I also in my mind seem to fall back on an idea I read about Mercurcy when I first started learning about the planets. It said that Mercurcy is always within 3 signs of the sun and that it functions as a secretary or personal assistant to the sun's drives and needs. Not sure how correct that is but when I am thinking about Mercurcy and character and influence that idea pops up and helps me clarify, at least in my own experiences anyways.

Jupiter doesn't have such a relationship with the sun as far as I know in which its sign can be determined appropriately by the sun sign.

The only aspect mercury and the sun can make in a natal chart is a conjunction. Jupiter could have a bushelful.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Danica » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:46 am

The way I see this:
If the two of them were a single geometric form drawn, Mercury would be the lines themselves and the dots (however invisible by themselves) that compose them, Jupiter the overall shape of the figure.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Danica » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:18 am

In terms of the signs:
Gemini moves along, focused on the drawing of the line itself; it’s the unknown they are dealing with, in the going: we can’t know or say anything about the shape (except only partially) from this perspective;
Sagittarius looks at the already drawn and asserts the shape (oh, look, it’s a spiral! ... or: it’s amorphous ... etc. 😊) and based on this, is projecting the further shapes that are springing-into-being, focused on aiming at the Wholeness of image(s) emerging.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jim Eshelman » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:41 am

Danica wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:18 am
In terms of the signs:
Gemini moves along, focused on the drawing of the line itself; it’s the unknown they are dealing with, in the going: we can’t know or say anything about the shape (except only partially) from this perspective;
Sagittarius looks at the already drawn and asserts the shape (oh, look, it’s a spiral! ... or: it’s amorphous ... etc. 😊) and based on this, is projecting the further shapes that are springing-into-being, focused on aiming at the Wholeness of image(s) emerging.
Regrettably, I have no idea what any of this means. Are you speaking in the abstract about concepts of the signs or are you describing discernible behavior of people. (The only Gemini I can think of who is "drawing the line itself" is a tattoo artist <g>.) How are Geminis dealing with the unknown more than Sagittarians are? (And I don't see the often narrow and even bigoted Sagittarians being any expression of "wholeness.")

So... I'm lost on what to do with this.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Danica » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:21 pm

I was having in mind the Details vs. the Big Picture distinction - using the analogy of drawing a line because it expresses these in terms of Motion, rather than a fixed state.

(Based on observation of Gemini and Sag Suns I know, combined with the reflection, on the behavioral patterns-tendencies perceived and the nature of planets themselves.)
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Danica » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:38 pm

The Gemini Suns seem to be geared toward:
We’re moving, encountering things as we go, and focused on each as it appears; the big picture, we don’t know (it’s being created, as we go).
The Sag Suns toward: let us define (label?..) what this whole motion is about; there’s the known of the previous experience that is the basis of informing us about this. The interest for the details/particulars as they come, on the go, is based in this need for ascertaining the position of an overarching view.
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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Parto » Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:48 pm

This thread lives in my head rent-free.

I'll say this: if Mercury really doesn't rule Gemini, it's at least still as good a fit for Gemini as Mars is for Aries. (Or is it?)

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by SteveS » Mon Jul 12, 2021 4:18 pm

Parto wrote:
I'll say this: if Mercury really doesn't rule Gemini, it's at least still as good a fit for Gemini as Mars is for Aries. (Or is it?)
Indeed!!! All the proof I really need for the truth of your above words Parto is the Gemini women I have known who have captured my mind with their Mercury communications. :)

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:11 pm

Nothing is unknown to Sagittarians. They know it all, and they judge it all from the very first moment they encounter it.

Gemini doesn't know anything and is always discovering everything anew and doesn't judge anything.

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Re: Mercury vs. Jupiter

Post by Parto » Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:24 pm

Jupiter Sets at Dawn wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:11 pm
Nothing is unknown to Sagittarians. They know it all, and they judge it all from the very first moment they encounter it.
That's in the spirit of what I was trying to say in my initial reply, but couldn't quite manage it. You did it in far fewer words. Good stuff.

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