This month, Jupiter and Saturn come into opposition in the sky. Since Jupiter is all about expansion, getting bigger and having confidence in ourselves and Saturn is all about contraction, being emotionally reserved and working hard to earn what we gain in life, you can see that they have a lot of places to disagree.
Imagine Jupiter and Saturn on Mount Olympus arguing about how you should spend your time. Jupiter is a large, round, jolly guy with a benevolent glow around him. Saturn is thin and ascetic-looking, with a kind of hooked nose and a miserly air. Their conversation might sound something like this . . .
Jupiter: I’m all about making things bigger.
Saturn: Blowing them out of proportion, you mean.
Jupiter: Why do you always have to be such a wet blanket?
Saturn: Because I value substance over surface. There’s no limit to what can be accomplished by someone who’s willing to work hard and create value.
Jupiter: Actually, there is a limit to that. If a person works hard but never takes a break, they will come to feel that their life is just drudgery—“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” you know?
Saturn: If the work is done, it’s ok to go play.
Jupiter: Is it really, Saturn? Do you ever really let up?
Saturn: I can let up after something really solid has been accomplished. But I like to push until it actually happens. You, on the other hand, are usually full of hot air. All enthusiasm and no substance.
Jupiter: How can people progress and build anything meaningful if they have no hope?
Saturn: I’m perfectly ready to deliver the reward after the work is done.
Jupiter: Your approach is harsh and judgmental.
Saturn: And you’re too relaxed. Promises are important and a person who cannot stand behind their own word is worthless. Wait a minute, who’s that?
A human being has joined the gods on Mount Olympus and stands there struggling for breath in the rarified atmosphere.
Human Being: I’m only mortal, but I climbed up here because I want to talk to you both.
Jupiter: I’m impressed.
Saturn: So am I. For once we agree. So, little Human Being, what do you want?
Human Being: Your argument is confusing me. Sometimes I want to be in touch with my ability to hope and to grow and to expand, and then I listen to you, Jupiter—
Jupiter: Fantastic idea. Good on you.
Human Being: —and then other times I just need a solid kick in the pants, so I listen to the never-ending stream of self-judgment that you put in my head, Saturn.
Saturn: Glad you’re listening. That will take you far.
Human Being: But right now I don’t know what to do. You’re pulling me in two different directions. I don’t know whether I should expand or contract. Should I grow my business or prune and consolidate it? Should I make promises before I know I can keep them and then scramble to fulfill or should I work hard behind the scenes until I have something solid to offer and then promote it wildly?
Jupiter and Saturn look at each other. Both shrug.
Saturn: It doesn’t really matter which you do first, as long as you honor us both.
Jupiter: Couldn’t have said it better myself. Just make us both happy, in whatever order you like, and you’ll find our argument is over.
Jupiter and Saturn pat each other on the back and stroll away into the beautiful Olympian twilight.