“Here we are, Born to be kings,
We’re the princes of the universe…”
There’s been an oldschool blog round robin on the perception of Jupiter thanks to a paragraph written by Gordon in his review of Pete Carroll’s latest book Epoch. I hope he won’t mind me quoting it in full, because I think it’s important:
And as for Jupiter… finally someone has called it like we should all be seeing it. That’s an astral Manhattan skyline in the background. Praying to Jupiter has always struck me as waving a little flag as the Queen goes by. This is a god of kings and Rothschilds. It is Jupiter that allows Wall Street criminals to avoid jail and have you foot the bill for their crimes. That’s what kings do. Few forms embody having different laws for the wealthy than the rest of us quite like Jupiter. (I sometimes get some joy out of Jupiteran spirits, but then it’s always the page or the lady in waiting that ends up being bribed into talking to the gutter press, so that makes sense.)
First Jason Miller posted his own thoughts, then Frater RO chimed in with his own rebuttal, and then there’s Mr. Barghest. over at The Laughing Magus writing about The King and The Anarcho-Scumbag – not forgetting the inestimable Christopher Bradford over at Heavens Within Earth.
Go read them, because they’re interesting, and mostly because they’re all intimately equated with Jupiter in magical work. As a disclaimer, I haven’t yet read Epoch or played with the cards – I’ll be doing that next week. Right now I’m in the midst of The Testament of St. Cyprian the Mage – which, unsurprisingly is really bloody good, and actually made me want to write this, when before I was content to leave the matter alone. Maybe because of that, I’m going to…well…I’m going to cheat. Yes folks, it’s another magical backbrain special from your host, Mr. VI.
As to how I’m cheating, well that’s easy:
“Hermes, draw near, and to my pray’r incline, angel of Jove [Zeus], and Maia’s son divine…” – Orphic Hymn to Mercury [Hermes]
“Let’s go chasing rainbows in the sky
It’s my invitation
Let’s all take a trip on my ecstasy
I’m Mr. Bad Guy
Yes I’m everybody’s Mr. Bad Guy
Can’t you see I’m Mr. Mercury.
Oh, spread your wings and fly away with me…”
And it’s Mr. Mercury, angel of Jove that I invoke. It’s Freddie and his music and lyrics and his Parsi heritage and his bisexuality and his “Darling, I’m doing everything with everybody.” It’s Queen to the King, to the fans who pay court to the lords of the stadiums.
It’s the 1980’s Greed is Good, Wall Street, Sex and Death, Famine and AIDS.
It’s MTV and the creators of The Real World’s and the fathers of Reality TV. It’s Murdoch and Thatcher and Regan and Capitalism unleashed. It’s the Falklands and the Poll Tax and Canary Wharf and the Star Wars Program and Hail to the Chief.
And maybe you don’t get all the references, but you’ve got the culture. You’ve got the patterns. They’re all around you. You swim through currents of influence every day, pulled this way and that by image and form and desire. So I call on Mercury to pass a message up the chain, in this most mediated of worlds. Because Mercury is tight with Jove. Because at the end of the day, he’s the one who delivers the orders and opens the roads – and Jupiter gives the orders. He’s the big Daddy. The Pater Familias. Head of the Household, and while you’re under his roof, you’ll do what he damn well says.
“It’s a kind of magic,
It’s a kind of magic,
A kind of magic,
One dream, one soul, one prize,
One goal, one golden glance of what should be,
It’s a kind of magic,
One shaft of light that shows the way,
No mortal man can win this day,
It’s a mind of magic,
The bell that rings inside your mind,
It’s a challenging the doors of time,
It’s a kind of magic,
The waiting seems eternity,
The day will dawn of sanity,
It’s a kind of magic,
There can be only one.”
Smile friends, for Jupiter will keep you well, if you keep to his rules, keep to his Imperial covenant.
Because it’s his rules that keep the world running. Its his thunder that drives away evil, his seed that spawns gods. And hell, those who make the rules can also break them, yeah? So when Gordon says that he’s the one that the elites want to embody and be seen as, he’s right. Patriotism, pride, abundance. Jupiter is the Big Daddy precisely because he embodies and deals with the things that are Bigger Than Us. He’ll keep doing it too, if you give him the proper adoration and respect. Break Imperial Rome down and you have a collection of households, each with their head who served as priest – they were the ones who performed the rites that kept the family safe, satisfying the ancestors etc.
Jupiter as Supreme Deity is equivalent with Zeus, the one who upends the old order and starts a new one. He’s the one who overthrows Saturn, chucking him down Below (Whether he lets him up again is dependent on Myth). This is, to borrow a woolly academic term, what the Sky-Father does. Keeps the stars in their courses, and runs the cosmos because either everyone’s shit-scared of Him. He’s the corporate raider who decimates the old order, fires people left right and centre, and yet out of the bloodbath, something new and profitable arises. So now nobody wants to make a wrong move, in case they piss him off, either because they don’t want to get fired/dead, or because actually the new awesome means that everyone’s getting better dividends on their shares or better, more fruitful yields in their fields.
Notice how people were around Steve Jobs? The man had a Cult of Kingship. Came back and rescued Apple from being a dying company, into the multibillion earning behemoth we know today.
“It’s so easy now, cos you got friends you can trust,
Friends will be friends,
When you’re in need of love they give you care and attention,
Friends will be friends,
When you’re through with life and all hope is lost,
Hold out your hand cos friends will be friends right till the end.”
But Kings are nothing without their vassals are they? They need their trusted lieutenants governing the land in their stead, their fealty-sworn friends. That’s the image we have, peculiarly mediaeval and feudal. Of course, go back far enough, and one soon realises that kings came from leaders surroundeded by loyal associates who get things done. The relationship between the two types is clear – by being loyal to the leader, they got wealth, lands and a bonus of being associated with the great leader. Conversely, the leader was able to expand their power and care for those bound to him by loyalty. So of course it’s going to be associated with elites – there is always the in-group, the privy council, the noble lords, the senators and the like.
Always a cult – from cultus: “care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence,” originally “tended, cultivated,” past participle of colere “to till” (see colony).
So the King tends to his men, do you see? That’s part of the covenant, part of the pact between them. His power is extended, and it enhances the powers of all those bound to him, which enhances his own which enhances theirs. Of course, I’ve written on Power before, so I don’t need to rehash it – but power must be maintained; from Latin manu tenere “hold in the hand,” from manu, ablative of manus “hand” (see manual) + tenere “to hold” (see tenet).
“Born to be kings, Princes of the universe,
Fighting and free, Got your world in my hand,
I’m here for your love and I’ll make my stand,
We were born to be princes of the universe,
No man could understand. My power is in my own hand,”
(Did you know that Freddie Mercury, born as Farrokh Bulsara, was a Parsi? Oh yes.)
The story goes that Abraham was in Ur when YHVH called him out, and told him he would make him a father of a nation if only he’d keep covenant. Abraham did, and we have Judaism, with all its original dietary purity laws so lovingly minterpreted or ignored by certain kinds of Christians, as well as the circumcision.
Body modification is a classic way of marking an in-group from an out-group, wouldn’t you agree?
And to hear the scriptures say it, YHVH stuck by the covenant (though of course, they would say that being written by YHVH cultists intent on making sure the Hebrews stopped their damn backsliding into polytheism) by smiting all the other folks. But not before they 12 sons of Israel had had to leg it to Egypt where their descendants apparently languished as slaves until YHVH set some greenery on fire in front of an escaped murderer and told him to liberate his people.
Now, I’m not equating YHVH with Jupiter – they’re different beings, just as Zeus and Jupiter are. But if you’ll notice, in Gordon’s post, the YHVH card has also got the astrological symbol for Jupiter on it – just saying it’s germane to the discussion.
Also germane, bluntly, is the subsequent kicking those of Jewish faith have been subjected to over the centuries, and the rise of Christianity as the new Roman state religion under Constantine. God-the-Father has a new covenant – believe in his son, get baptised and he’ll look out for you, even if you’re oppressed. According to some interpretations, especially if you’re oppressed.
The contradictions between say, Jesus throwing the moneylenders out of the temple, and say the Vatican bank, or the millitaristic urges of the Crusades are quite clear, and yet there’s something important there.
Remember that historically, Constantine was kinda-sorta iin a bind with the Legions – a good chunk of whom were part of a Mithras cult. So he adopted Christianity as a new way of strengthening political power – a Jupiterian move if ever I saw one. Mithras meanwhile, was another deity concerned with the maintainance of the Kosmos. By slaying the bull of Heaven, he ordered the stars.
And here’s where it gets really interesting, for the Mithraic Mysteries which had spread across the Empire seem to be rooted in the Chadeao-Babylonian mystical understandings, which also influenced Judaism. In The Testament of St Cyprian the Mage, Jake Stratton-Kent points out that Mithras appeared to serve as an agent of the transcendent Zurvan or Aion.
Zurvan, and Mithras (as Mithra) are connected to Zoroastrianism – with Zurvan perhaps being the originator of Ahura Mazda and Ahriman. Mithra is a yazata, (being worthy of worship) presiding over covenants and oaths.It’s perhaps no surprise to suggest that Mithras, by his slaying of the bull, performed an equivalent of binding the stars into place. This makes even more sense when we consider the Zoroastrian principle of asha or arta – itself connected to the Vedric rta, meaning “that which is properly joined; order, rule; truth”.
So, what we have here is a force that can make laws – which is to say, can allow somethings and prohibit others. It can arrange things in a certain way to extend and increase the abundance. However, unlike say Saturn, there is little restriction – if anything, the Jupiterian motif is expansionist – the ‘swelling’ concept which allsow applies in language about fertility ( and no, I’m not making dick jokes here). Yet, if we engage in further comparative mythology, we can see that Saturn/Kronos is the father of Jupiter/Zeus, just as perhaps, Zurvan/Aion is the originator of Mithras.
As JSK points out, we’re dealing with a transcendent eternity—>cosmological orderer.
Now, this isn’t to say that it’s one way – offspring can also reach back and pratake of their predecessors powers. So One may ascend to spremacy after the other – Kronos and Zeus for example. Similarly, the head of a household would eventually die and be replaced by their offspring, consigned to the realm of the ancestors. This seems to be how it goes. The negative aspect of Jupiter, if there can be said to be so, is the same negativity which afflicted Kronos – the refusal to believe that all things must end. Endless expansion. World domination with slaves toiling, be it under Roman rule or Apple workers churning out iPads in shitty conditions in China.
And here’s the funny bit – because Freddie was a Parsi and Parsi’s are Zoroastrians – he used to attend Fire festivals a child. He and Queen composed the soundtrack for Highlander – about immortals chopping each other’s heads off. The later Highlander:The Series? Had its protagonist battling Ahriman.
And the leocephaline figure in Mithraic reliefs? Often has its head beyond the spheres.
Which is interesting, isn’t it?
“It also left a man’s decapitated body lying on the floor
next to his own severed head, a head which at this time has
“I know his name.”
Yes indeed. Cheers, Freddie.