Daniel Solewu looks at the stars for December 2006

Probably the highlight of this month is Jupiter goinginto Sagittarius, for the first time in 12 years andstaying there for the next 12 months. After a year inthe deeper, darker waters of Scorpio, this transit ismuch more of an elevated journey.

It's not without its own shadow though, but all inall, it helps lift the tone of life's proceedings alongthe way. Most of us will be feeling the need of somelightening up after such a dense and chaotic year.

Each sign has a planet that is said to rule over itsoperations. The current transits of that planet directlyinfluence how the sign is operating, as well as howthings are going in the house(s) that the sign inhabits.

As the ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter's energies arevery closely aligned with the Centaur's in both theirlight and shadow versions. They can be wild and primitive,and exalted and grace-filled, depending on what levelthey are expressing within an individual or a culture.

On the plus side, Jupiter often delivers all the clichedkey words associated with it - expansion, growth, benevolence,luck, prosperity, positive synchronicities and gracein all its forms. So we can generally expect good thingsto come our way in whatever house or houses Sagittariusoccurs in our individual charts.

And it's not just a one way street - we often giveout good energies when Jupiter is around, ones thatbenefits others while attracting good experiences from,and with, others.

The essence of Sagittarius is filled with joy and enthusiasm,optimism and encouragement, broad vision and inspiredbelief and great courage that stems from a deep faithin the essential goodness of life. However foolhardyit may appear to others, it always seems to land onits feet and even when it does crash badly, it gainsgreat learning from the experience. And for Sag it'sall about the gathering of experience and the learningthat comes with it. The expansive energies of Jupiterhave a field day here, and will do much to help theSagittarian in us reclaim some of this essence, especiallyafter a decade of the much heavier Pluto moving throughthe sign.

Both also have much to do with knowledge, belief,vision, and the more expanded aspects of the mind, inboth mundane and spiritual terms. Both represent thatvery human need to make sense of things, to see thetruth behind events and ultimately reach an understandingof life that honours interconnectedness of all things.For this reason, the Hindus call Jupiter "the guruplanet" as well as giving many associations withGanesha, the much loved elephant-headed god of grace,who removes obstacles to our development on all levels.

It would be a mistake, though, to see either energy,especially Jupiter, as being purely good and noble.You only have to look at his Greco-Roman mythology tosee that this King of Olympus was also a very naughtyboy, whose restlessness and lustfulness was legendaryand who was extremely vengeful to anyone who crossedhim. In a more contemporary setting, too much Jupiteris often too much of everything - ego, expectations,self-belief, greed, grandiosity, self justification,hubris, all of which can look good but crash spectacularlywhen not balanced by realism and sober analysis. Forus mere mortals, this is a caution about excess, takingtoo much for granted and wasting energy and resources.Around belief systems, the essentially positive energyof both Jupiter and Sagittarius turns into arrogance,self delusion and fundamentalism.s

Similarly, Jupiter encourages us to enjoy the exuberantenergy of Sagittarius, but it can take us closer tothe wild, untamed aspects of the Centaur, which canmanifest in some as the abusive, drunken, violent masculine.On this thread, Jupiter joins both the Sun and the centaurasteroid Pholus as he enters Sag and sextiles both Chironand the darker centaur Nessus in Aquarius. This putsthe masculine in direct, powerful focus on both lightand dark aspects and while this opens the doors to themisuse of the energy, seen correctly, it energises thehealing of the wounded male within and offers a chanceto get in touch with the healthy, instinctual masculine.To get to the potency of this often necessitates a confrontationwith the destructive male in our family systems as wellas any alcohol abuse.

upiter essentially supports this work but will oftenintentionally exaggerate these tendencies, however subtle,so that we can no longer remain in ignorance or denialof them. This especially applies to individuals of bothsexes from abusive backgrounds who have sublimated theirmasculine because of the fear of repeating the abusivetendencies and then lose the connection with the healthyred-blooded male within, with all his courage, driveand confidence.

It's not just the masculine that gets a boost hereeither, as the Lilith asteroid also emerges from Scorpiointo Sagittarius along with Jupiter, each sextilingthe Black Moon and Hygeia. This also represents bringingin more light, as well as expressiveness to these mysterious,often repressed parts of the feminine, with the combinationoffering great releases and great healing. In the Lilithjourney, it suggests a transition point from the ostracisedstage to that which allows her to release her rage andtransmute its toxicity into true empowerment.

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