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The Different Faces of Jupiter

In her Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Bully Pulpit”, Doris Kearns Goodwin spends a lot of time describing the differences between Theodore Roosevelt and his good friend and handpicked successor, William Howard Taft. However, from an astrological point of view, these two men actually had a lot in common. Both had Jupiter in the First House. (Click here to see Roosevelt’s chart; and here to see Taft’s)


The Ascendant and the First House represent our out personality. This is where we meet and welcome the outside world. It shows the kind of first impression we are most likely to make. Planets in the First House, particularly when they are near the Ascendant, significantly color that first impression. Often they are more important than the sign ruling the Ascendant.


So why were these two men, both with Jupiter in the First so different? Well, a closer reading of Goodwin’s book shows that, in terms of their outer personality, they weren’t that different. Testimony from their peers, beginning in their youth and continuing through their maturity, reveal that both Roosevelt and Taft were impressive figures with expansive personalities, just as you would expect from someone with Jupiter in the First.


What struck people about Roosevelt was his energy, and his absolute refusal to recognize any boundaries to his actions. He blew through obstacles with a combination of blind optimism and bellicose cunning. He was constantly seeking to expand the limits of his body, his mind and his career. Jupiter in the First House told him that he was capable of having it all; and he was going to stop until he got it.


From childhood on, William Howard Taft was the kind of a guy that people enjoyed having around. He always seemed happy, optimistic and open. He was a big man, and he continued to get bigger has he aged. Even dieting couldn’t keep the pounds from accumulating. But Taft’s famous size seemed to only add to his appeal. He was respected for his ability to see both sides of an issue, and excelled as a Federal judge. His warm, accessible nature also helped his succeed as the U.S. governor of the Philippines.


Roosevelt shows us the expansive side of Jupiter, the side for which too much is never enough. Taft represented the judicious, gregarious side of the planet’s symbolism. The expansive part was expressed in his waistline. People encountering the two men for the first time were not doubt struck by these differences, unaware that they were actually seeing different sides of the same planet.


There are several astrological factors that account for the difference between Roosevelt and Taft, but the simplest is the differences between their Sun Signs. Roosevelt was a Scorpio. Jupiter in the First directed all of the intensity and drive that most Scorpios keep hidden directly at the outside world. No wonder people thought of him as a charging bull moose.


Taft was a Virgo by Sun sign. His expression of Jupiter was more modest, and more intellectual. He was a lawyer who loved the law, loved its ability to rise above the personal and achieve a broad and equanimous perspective. (Roosevelt was also trained as a lawyer, but he preferred the competitive give and take of politics.)


Every part of the horoscope can be interpreted in different ways according to the context provided by the whole. This something every student of a astrology hears over and over.  Examples like Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft and their First House Jupiter, however, bring that truism to life.

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