What do have Bill Gates and Kepler, Mahatma Gandhi and Pablo Picasso, Maria Shriver and Descartes, Nelson Mandela and Jim Jones have in common? No, I’m not joking! They all have the same aspect in their birth chart: Jupiter conjunct Pluto. In non-astrological language this says that seen from the earth Jupiter and Pluto are seen in the very same direction in heaven. It is as if they can shake hands. Of course there is, astronomically spoken, still a big distance between the two, but when two planets are seen very close to each other in heaven; astrologers call this ‘conjunct’. A conjunction means power and the astrological meaning of these planets will be strongly interwoven.
Pluto is a (dwarf) planet and has many faces: dark, intense, and confronts us with shadows and problems. Pluto wants power, whether in secret or in the open. But the same Pluto also has the power to bring to the surface what was hidden, has real psychological knowledge and an incredible willpower and persistence.
Jupiter has also extremes. He is the principle of expansion and likes to make everything bigger. Being easily overenthusiastic he tends to overdo and overreact. And he is self-willed. But Jupiter has a vision; he is an idealist and loves to improve the world.
Put Jupiter and Pluto together and they tend to reinforce each other. Jupiter does not have the patience to listen, as he feels an inner knowledge that keeps him going. Pluto will make this tendency of Jupiter even stronger, as Pluto’s natural tendency is to intensify every planet he touches. This is a combination that wants to walk its own way, no matter what others say, no matter what people want to advise.
This combination can express idealism and compassion, as is seen with Gandhi and Mandela. These individuals have shown how big the power of an individual person can be when he is true to his soul and ideals. But if someone is full of negative complexes, the dark side of Pluto becomes stronger, because Jupiter has the tendency to make everything bigger. For example, Jim Jones founded a city based on idealism and religion, but in the end forced almost a thousand of his followers to commit suicide. In this instance, former idealism became destructive.
Jupiter conjunct Pluto asks us to turn inside, and look at where we stick to our ideals, and stay true to our inner core. This aspect asks us to leave behind what we do not need anymore, and what is of no use for the path of our soul. It also asks us to look in an honest way in our own mirror, to discover where we try to get power out of self-defense, because we are afraid, or too much self-willed. Because power is something you easily want as soon as Jupiter and Pluto are connected.
Are we sticking to our own opinions even if they keep us from the truth? In a negative way the Pluto-Jupiter combination can be very stubborn. Questioning one’s own opinions is a good thing -- Pluto is excellent in helping find the real issues, the real problems, and Jupiter wants to heal.
Once we dare to be absolutely honest, we can make a major leap towards a more rewarding inner life -- And help to solve problems in society. Mandela and Gandhi could only fulfill their life goals by staying absolutely true to their own soul, their ideals and to life.
Karen Hamaker-Zondag has a Drs. (comparable to M.A.) in Social Geography from the University of Amsterdam as well as a Drs. Planologie. She has been a professional astrologer for 20 years and a Kepler College faculty member since 2004, teaching in the area of Astrology and Human Behavior. She also teaches a four-year course in professional astrology and a three year course in Jungian psychology. She is the editor of the Dutch astrological journal Symbolon, and is the author of twelve books on astrology.