The Story Behind Jupiter

The Jupiter archetype represents our desire to expand and grow, to make progress and improve our lives. It is philosophical and aspirational, and about searching for meaning and significance, success and joy. Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius and Pisces. The symbol is the half circle of soul rising beside the cross of matter.

JupiterKeywords for Jupiter:
  • Expansion
  • Luck
  • Optimism
  • Arrogance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Meaning

Jupiter Myths

In Greek mythology we have Zeus, King of the gods. His name means ‘lightener’ or ‘he who gives enlightenment’, and he rules thunder, lightning and storms. Zeus was the son of Kronos who had received a prophecy warning him one of his sons would overthrow him. So he swallowed all his children, but Zeus escaped, hidden by his mother Rhea who substituted a stone in his place. Later, Kronos vomited the stone, and his other children, back up, whereupon Zeus led his siblings in a rebellion against their father, becoming ruler of the gods. Zeus is also notorious for his many sexual conquests, being shamelessly promiscuous and always chasing off after, well, anything with a pulse. He was married to Hera, who was also his sister, and although their marriage was turbulent, he always returned to her.

Odin – Thor © 2011 MVLFFLLC
Odin – Thor © 2011 MVLFFLLC

The equivalent to Zeus in Germanic and Scandinavian mythology is Wotan or Odin. He is ruler of the gods, storms and chaos. Odin lost an eye gaining wisdom from the World-Ash or Yggdrasil. Wounded by his own blade, he hung upside down from the Tree of the World for nine nights, finally spying the runes of wisdom and returning them to us as a gift.

Jupiter Myths on Film

Gattaca is set in a world of genetic engineering, where ‘designer people’ have perfect genetics, rule society and are known as ‘Valid’, while those of natural birth are called ‘In-valid’. The story follows Vincent, played by Ethan Hawke, who is an In-valid and determined break free of his imperfect genetic destiny. He wants to go into space, but only Valids are eligible. Vincent meets a Valid called Jerome, played by Jude Law, who is willing to sell his genetic material. Using Jerome’s blood, skin, hair and urine samples, Vincent sets out to create a new identity and fulfil his dreams.

127 Hours © 2010 Fox Searchlight
127 Hours © 2010 Fox Searchlight

127 Hours tells the story of adventurer Aron Ralston, played by James Franco, as he sets out on a day of canyoneering in Utah’s National Park. He enters Blue John Canyon and descends between the rocks, but a small boulder comes loose, falling down the crevice after him and pinning his arm against the canyon wall. He is trapped. The film follows his attempts to free himself as he becomes increasingly desperate, dehydrated and weak. After a vision of his future unborn son, he finds the courage to cut himself free by slicing through his arm using his, now blunt, knife. Ouch!

>Read the rest of the series here

3 thoughts on “The Story Behind Jupiter

    1. Ha! No – perhaps they’re not the best examples. Both films are about adventurers, characters who want to expand their horizons.

      In Gattaca, Vincent wants to explore the universe but can’t because of his genetics so he has to find a way to trick the system into letting him fulfil his dreams.

      In 127 Hours, Aron is always looking for the next adventure but never stops to think about what any of it means. Getting stuck under the rock forces him to discover resources within himself he didn’t know were there – a kind of inner adventure – that enhances his sense of meaning, even if he has to pay for it by losing an arm.


      1. Hmm…odd picks for adventurers, though. Most of the epic adventure stories I think of don’t have armies trying to stop the traveler from crossing the landscape. War finds them when they get to where they are going.

        Okay, I see it with Gattaca. He wants to road trip and doesn’t have a license.

        And, I guess I can see it with 127 Hours, but the idea of getting stuck and cutting off an arm…I had my 127 Hours experience this year. I don’t want to watch it in film form.

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