A visit from Zeus

The other day Zeus paid a visit.

It wasn’t for long, but we can only stand the presence of the gods in short bursts. And mostly they don’t have to stay long to deliver their message.

Let me explain.

My eldest son finished school a year or so ago, and has be working since, saving well, but living constantly with this ‘what next?’ question that many school leavers wrestle with. He had thoughts of travel, but his often cautious nature brought resistance. I had been encouraging, but was reluctant to push.

Enter Zeus/Jupiter. God of travel and adventure, joy, luck and blessings.

Several years ago I met a German woman on a train. We talked intensely in the hour or two into London, and swapped phone numbers. I heard little or nothing from her until a year ago she contacted me: her daughter was coming to New Zealand, and could she possibly visit. Of course. Almost the year passed until she did - just a few weeks ago, as Jupiter had moved freshly into Sagittarius, on a Sagittarian Sun. 

Jupiter (the Roman’s version of the Greek’s Zeus) spends about a year in each sign of the zodiac, but given rulership and responsibility to Sagittarius this planet promotes his ideas of travel, expanding worlds, bringing joy, meaning and vision, particularly enthusiastically and effectively in this restless, adventurous sign.

Anyway, when she first came into our sun-drenched front room it was if someone had turned on the light. Or turned up the sun. And within minutes she was talking enthusiastically about travelling, the learning she’d had on her journeying, philosophising in a most mature and insightful way for a young adult. When she started warmly encouraging my son to do it too, head off on his life-adventure, I started to wonder whether she might be a visitation from the god.

Don’t scoff. I see this a lot. When we live life astrologically, we see the presence of the gods or their emissaries - of the archetypes if you prefer - constantly arising in life, coming in the guise of chance encounters, familiar friends or lovers, unusual events. But often it’s the Stranger. It’s no wonder the ancient greeks considered the visitor or stranger sacred, and would always admit them and give them the best hospitality. In these moments, the world becomes in some way more real, more colourful, charged, infused with presence. Numinous.

Remember what Rumi says:

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor…

Which I am taking more literally that he means in this wonderful poem.

As if to answer my wondering she offered that she’d just had her birthday. Oh, a sagittarian! How marvellously apt, I thought! I noted the moment she’d walked through the door, minutes earlier, and, on drawing up the chart, was delighted to see Jupiter/Zeus (the ruling planet) in the most prominent place, right on the Midheaven.

Later on she declared a fascination with astrology - she’d had a chart constructed and interpreted at her birth. And she had 6 planets in Sagittarius on a Sagittarian Ascendant!

OK - Yes, here really was Zeus!

And why might He/she have paid us a visit?

Of course, as with such a question there are many answers. But He came for my son. And, touched by Zeus’ in this encounter he became open to travel in a whole new way. I checked his birth chart, and sure enough the symbolism was wonderful: at the time of Zeus’ appearance Jupiter, at 8º19’ Sagittarius, was within 0º14’ of his natal Pluto right on his Sagittarian IC. Zeus came to push him out of the nest.

He bought his plane ticket two days ago. At the exact time of purchase Jupiter was the ruling planet (and therefore is he himself), in Sagittarius in the 9th house of foreign travel, right next to a restless and adventurous Moon, also in the 9th in Sagittarius, which was closely conjunct his natal Pluto and the placement of Jupiter when Zeus walked in the door!

Two final things -  Jupiter’s placement at the time of Zeus’ arrival was at, and ruled, the Midheaven, carrying symbolism of the mother. Perhaps my son’s late mother (with her rising, dignified Jupiter) had a part in all this. And remember this Jupiter fell on my son’s IC - the part of the chart connected, alongside home and family, with the father. Clearly He came for me, too.

Oh, and the young woman’s name? Grace. What perfection!

Good omens to travel on.