Being Authentic with Jupiter
Dishonesty, Lying and Exaggeration
A Weekly NPA Series
With Ari M Wolfe
The truth never needs to be proven, explained, rationalized or justified. It always stands on its own and is always a matter of personal integrity. Speaking it, demonstrating it, living it is all that’s needed.
Our truth is always found in the moment when we look at our own direct experience right now. Otherwise without this looking we will repeat old insights, something we read, something we once believed in, something another person told us. It’s possible to speak from the standpoint of trying to convince or prove to your own self that you know what you’re talking about and to go about pretending that it is so.
Self-dishonesty isn’t necessarily conscious deceit, it’s literally just a matter of not being honest with oneself. “One more drink, I’ll be fine.” Is that a lie? Well no, because it seems true in the moment but still isn’t honest.
To truly admit, “oh I don’t know if that’s true” can be incredibly threatening to the ego structure. Moreover, there’s usually some element of truth in everything and we don’t usually want to feel like we are completely wrong. Most ego structures will dig the hole deeper and deeper, attempting to create a reality to validate the not-entirely-authentic story that’s already been told. It’s either that or to stop and look at oneself with honesty and admit that we might not have the full picture. This can be difficult because it’s like driving a car at 100 miles per hour and then coming to a hault and admitting that maybe you’re going the wrong way! Hard to change such powerful momentum.
Changing course in this way is not an easy thing to do as we risk other people not believing us. If we never admit we were wrong then no one will ever know we were wrong, even though we are wrong! This is how simple mistakes can quickly become lies: when we are unwilling to change our perspective and instead double down on our position. Now we become identified with being right, being right becomes it’s own purpose – above and beyond the actual truth. A recent (and ongoing) example of this is found with the 45th president of the United states who recently constructed an elaborate lie after he mistakingly said that Alabama will be hit by a hurricane. Once the weather officials said that this is not true, instead of admitting he was wrong (and probably just misunderstood something he read or saw) he doubled down and used all the tricks in the book to show that Alabama was in fact at danger at some point, literally making things up and straight out lying just to cover any possibility of him having been perceived as wrong. He is an example of compuslive lying.
Admitting the truth to ourselves is challenging because we risk coming to terms with our actual reality which means we will be so much more unadorned and simple than we wanted to make ourselves out to be. But the truth is always freeing. When we meet it we find compassion because we understand why we were not being honest. Usually we just had an idea in our head and identified that idea as truth. Usually that idea contains some element of insight or partial understanding. It’s all very innocent when we get to the core of it.
When dishonesty with oneself becomes a flat out lie, the individual who is lying will not usually admit to themselves they are lying. For most lies, there is usually an identity that believes the lie; not necessarily as true per se but as something that is true to do, something that somewhere in the psyche lands as justifiable and thus honest. Even if a person knows they are being dishonest, there’s a quality of sincerity in their knowing of this and thus it won’t always “feel” like a lie. It takes integrity to simply admit “I lied. I did not tell the truth.” To acknowledge this is deeply humbling.
Virgo and Sagittarius
The square between Virgo and Sagittarius reflects this reality (see chart below). Squares (planets 90 degrees from one another) are about tension that leads to creative integration. The presence of a square in a chart will generally reflect the tension of a crucial turning point: choices or decisions that need to be made in order to resolve and open up, soften, an otherwise tense and challenging dynamic.
Virgo is about self-accuracy and the intent within consciousness to refine, correct and improve upon the details of one’s life. The tension between Virgo and Sagittarius can manifest as having grand visions and ideals for what is possible, and creating crisis by way of not being honest with one’s abilities, capabilities, actual level of understanding/insight at the time.
John sat in a medicine ceremony with a healer from the Amazon forest. During the ceremony he had a vision of himself in the jungle facilitating a healing ceremony for other people. After the ceremony he told himself, “I’m going to train and become a medicine healer!” And so he found some medicine and began practicing facilitating with a few close friends.
John was not only a novice, he really had no clue what he was doing. He chanted words that didn’t quite feel real to him. He did it anyway, ignoring the elephant in the room. He administered medicine he didn’t really understand. He had an intuitive sense of connection, an inner knowing of there being a path here, but he was not present to his actual capacities. He was not being honest with himself and the situation. At some point, crisis ensued. While his friends were screaming, afraid they were going to die, John realized that he was getting WAY ahead of himself. So now the Virgo function kicks in big time and he realizes that he needs to develop himself and not just rush into things like this. Very very humbling.
The effect of this practice ceremony had the impact of making John deeply aware of the extent of his self-dishonesty and how easy it is for him to convince himself of a path that seems very viable in the moment. As a result, he didn’t want to do anything that felt remotely like it was copying another culture. He didn’t want to sing any songs that he didn’t understand. He didn’t even want to think about the idea of one day becoming a healer. He felt like a fraud and was embarrassed. Fraud, charlatan and imposter syndrome are all associated with Jupiter by the way.
Virgo relative to Sagittarius says make sure you are moving forward with integrity and leaving no stone unturned. Be honest. Honest with yourselves, honest with others. When we are dishonest with ourselves we create messy situations in our lives and in that of others. And Virgo corresponds to messy situations and the lessons we learn from them as we show up to clean it up.
The Virgo Sagittarius square can also represent another challenge: permeating self-doubt. This is what eventually ended up happening to John. Sagittarius asks us to move on our intuition – to know without knowing how we know. If we have had a past of getting ahead of ourselves and have made mistakes by shooting our arrow and totally missing the mark, then there can be a wounding in one’s intuitive faculties. This can result in the healer not trusting their intuition, holding back from doing the work they are here to do. The spiritual aspirant not trusting where the path is actually calling them. The counselor not speaking the truth they feel called to share, the teacher not trusting their own insights.
The Virgo Sagittarius square can thus reflect the psychology of the seeker who never finds. I feel we should talk more about that a different time.
When we drop already knowing and come back to our direct experience, in that moment we return to our path. Our soul path is self-evident, it reveals itself to us in a natural and direct way. No contrived efforts to create something different or make ourselves other than what we are is necessary. So few people really experience this simplicity because the tendency, in more industrialized cultures in particular, is to walk around with a conception already in mind; thus repeating the same self-convictions over and over again. Our common language even reflects such an attitude. In the west it is very common to just exaggerate and not tell the truth as if it’s normal and expected.
I had the best insight ever! I was sitting by the river for like 5 hours and I realized that everything is always flowing! This is the most powerful realization I have ever had in my life. It was so big.
What’s actually true here? Well you had an insight; it was profound for you. But did you actually sit there for 5 hours? Wasn’t it more like 30 minutes? Telling a story about how big something was is certainly not the same thing as the experience of whatever that big thing was, and was it actually “big”? Is that how it actually feels or is that word trying to compensate (Jupiter key word) for something else that’s even far more intimate and authentic that you don’t believe to be sufficient or haven’t given yourself the space to connect with?
It’s very easy to replace the very real value of an experience with details that present the appearance of it being a big deal. The truth is, our experiences are always valid and we don’t need to make up things or exaggerate the details in order to prove or demonstrate that it was so.
Exaggeration can come in many forms down to how much money you are earning, not being entirely honest about the details of a story, exaggerating your emotional state to reflect a reality that isn’t quite accurate to what’s going on etc.
“I am literally starving”. No you probably aren’t literally starving. But you are hungry.
“I’m literally dying of the heat”. No you are metaphorically dying. That’s 100% the incorrect use of the word “literal”.
“I was waiting forever.” No you were probably only waiting for an extra 10 or 15 minutes.
Of course, if prompted, most people would not double down and assert, “no I am literally dying right now!” Most people would brush it off and admit, “yeah, but it’s just a way of talking.” But this way of talking, when it becomes so common place, just becomes a habit of not being honest. What is it like to only speak the truth? I find that it’s actually not as easy as it sounds.
Gemini and Sagittarius
This dynamic is well reflected in the opposition between Sagittarius and Gemini. Oppositions (planets opposite one another) are the greatest tension in the natal chart. Oppositions represent energies that will often manifest as a perceived duality; a tension within consciousness between perceived opposites. The invitation with any kind of oppositional dynamic is to realize the opposition as a singular axis: not two points in contradiction but an entire domain of integrated understanding. Thus finding what is inherently true that doesn’t exist in opposites.
Gemini is facts. Words have specific meaning and point to the “things” of creation. While all these words we use are made up and vary from culture to culture, there is a logic behind language and communication. How we talk to one another is meant to convey whole thoughts that allow for an exchange of ideas between humans.
“I was waiting forever” factually means something different than “I was waiting for 15 minutes”. In the exaggeration of Sagittarius, actual data is usually misconstrued. The tension between Gemini and Sagittarius can reflect the dishonesty of using whatever words will convey the idea that wants to be expressed to the disregard of the accuracy and actual meaning of the words.
In extreme cases this can be used as ways to consciously lie and present a reality to convince others of what you want them to believe. We see this with politicians as much as with sales people and religious leaders. The 45th again president of the United states is a great example of this. His has the Gemini Sun opposite a Sagittarius Moon on the Gemini Sagittarius nodal axis. He embodies the perfect blend of lying and duplicity as well as the extreme case of compulsive lying.
I used to exaggerate a lot. I remember one moment as a young man when I realized that I was not telling the truth. It was a huge blow to my ego because I thought of myself as an honest person but realized that I was a compulsive exaggerator. Unraveling this I began to realize that I exaggerated because I didn’t think the truth would be credible, so I stepped outside of my own authentic knowing to add more to it. I still fall into these patterns today but I can identify in my body how different it feels to speak honestly versus to speak with even a little exaggeration. When I’m not truthful with the present moment it leaves a lingering sense of disconnect. There’s no real intimacy there and it actually broods a feeling of aloneness. Eventually I always seem to notice it.
Another way to characterize the opposition between Sagittarius and Gemini is how words and gestures can be made (all Gemini: ways of communicating) but these words and gestures may not be authentic. For example, we are often asked “How are you?” The answer is usually not completely authentic. “I’m OK.” Culturally, such an answer might be appropriate in various situations. This is a Gemini social skill, knowing how and when to adopt to the environment. But culturally how much space is there for the actual truth to be conveyed?
You can see this energy of authenticity in kids who have not been conditioned to try to be acceptable and fit in. They will be honest. It doesn’t mean they will flat out say what’s on their mind. But if they are shy, they will be true to their shyness. If they are excited and want to tell you everything they will surely do so. It’s when the mind has associated certain gestures, stripped of meaning of authentic value, as what is needed in order to be accepted and socially fit in, then authenticity becomes compromised.
The very opposite can be true. Imagine traveling to a foreign country and absolutely lacking in tact (Gemini = social awareness) and saying all the wrong things, dressing the wrong way. Going to a restaurant in Japan and asking for Pizza. Asking the tea server in China if they can put sugar in your tea. Singing rainbow songs in Thailand and so forth. Here the social adoptability skills (Gemini) are completely lacking to the over emphasis of one’s narrow experience of reality that excludes other people’s subjective cultural experience.
Remaining true to oneself while knowing how to adopt to circumstance, both with nothing to prove and nothing to pretend, is the key of integrating Gemini and Sagittarius energies.
The Snarky Comment
I recall once in the third grade I made a very off kilter comment to a teacher who said something to me in the hallway. I honestly don’t remember what I said. All I remember was I didn’t mean it. I only said it because I saw something on a television show where someone made some kind of sarcastic comment and the audience laughed. Somehow that left an impression on me and I felt an attraction to that. I feel it was the idea of being funny, an attraction to a certain kind of sarcastic humor. So in a spontaneous moment, free of any personal issue with that teacher or agenda to tell them anything meaningful, I said something that came across as dismissive, disgruntled and honestly the best word I can think of is snarky though I’m not entirely sure what snarky means. I don’t even think it was a comment about them or to them, it was something I said in response to being spoken to and I think she might have actually just been saying hello to me.
All I recall was she was very offended and it suddenly become a big deal. The principal got involved, they had me write a letter of apology and definitely scolded me with a good talking to. I don’t remember any of what they told me other than I remember thinking “this is not at all relevant to me. I actually didn’t mean whatever I said.” I remember thinking that the best course would be to write an apology letter and just go with it because no one would really understand where I was coming from; why I said what I said. So I wrote the letter and apologized and did it all in a way that looked very sincere all the while feeling like the actual truth was total inaccessible and that there was no way I could ever explain myself to them. I allowed the teacher and the principal to believe that I was hearing their message and learning a lesson about (was it respect? I don’t remember). I played the part and moved on.
This was for me both disappointing and also illuminating. As someone who cherished comedy and stand-up comedians (I used to read autobiographies of stand-up comedians), I thought that this is what being funny looked like. But apparently, I was completely out of touch (Jupiter) with the current cultural reality around me (Sagittarius relative to Gemini. See below for more on that!). So after that experience I became more tactful and discerning, ultimately developing a greater understanding as to what humor ACTUALLY is. At the same time however that experience further solidified in my mind that being myself is inaccessible to people, that I can’t really be understood for what I really mean. This set in motion many years of self-alienation.
To reflect a bit more on what I was attempting to do when trying to be funny: A Jupiter tendency is to try to replicate an experience that is not right now. This could be a previous insight or something someone else did or said that worked for them. So in my example I am trying to be a funny person. This is different than being a funny person. The same thing can happen with a practitioner of meditation; following the same practice they were taught by their spiritual teacher 30 years ago because at some point they told themselves, “this is the path I need to walk to wake up. This is what my teacher told me.” But is that true? What is authentic can’t be forced or replaced with a nice sounding idea.
If I were to enter the scene of young Ari I would have sat the sweet boy down and asked him why he said what he said, what he was thinking? I would have endeavored to understand where he is coming from according to his experience and then I would have given him a little treat to chew on. Maybe this, “Ari, what do you think makes something funny? Think about it for a while and let me know. I’m curious what you’ll come up with.”
Honesty vs Bluntness
Simply, honesty is a present moment thing. It’s not about the words you speak it’s about the energy and authenticity of what is being brought forth. A hug can be authentnic or it can be a lie. If it’s a lie it doesn’t mean it’s bad or deceitful or manipulative. It can just mean it’s not telling the truth it’s trying to express.
A common Jupiter mistake is confusing honesty with bluntness. To be blunt is to speak your mind and be seemingly honest, but it’s not necessarily honest. For example, if in a state of indignation, I tell you “I think your shoes are ugly” we can argue that I am being honest. I owned it as my own perspective, I didn’t say your shoes are objectively ugly. So what’s dishonest about my statement? Lets take the words out, just keep the energy but with no actual language. What are we left with? An energy of indignation. Give it some color, some movement, give it an interpretive dance. It will look nothing like the seemingly straight forward “I think your shoes are ugly”. The energy of the moment is what’s being communicated, not the apparently “honest” words that are being expressed.
To be honest means to be authentic with one’s experience. Nature is always a good example of this. When the leaves are falling from a tree they will gently float down to the earth. When the rain falls it will make a little droplet sound when it drops into a puddle. Nature’s expression is true to its experience. For us humans however, it’s so easy to contort our lives so that we try to make something true all the while being dishonest about what is actually is true.
Truth is safe
Often times we are just afraid that if we really get honest with ourselves, that if we are authentic enough to find our truth where we are that we will be misunderstood, that people will not get us. If no one understands you is your own truth still valid?
I am finding that a core belief many people have is simply that the truth isn’t good enough. It wont be impressive, it wont make any changes, it won’t be believed, it falls short of where we were hoping to be. And yet, the truth always takes us back to that precious zero point where life begins.
The Mutable Cross
This is the chart of the mutable cross. Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius and so whenever I speak about Jupiter I am also referring to the energy of Sagittarius. Understanding the relationship Sagittarius has with the rest of the zodiac is thus another way to gain insight and perspective on the Jupiter archetype. In this article I spoke a bit about the relationship between Sagittarius and Virgo and Sagittarius and Gemini. Later on I’ll address the relationship between Pisces and Sagittarius when I focus more on Jupiter as a spiritual path and the archetypes of the seeker and the teacher.
The four mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. These 4 signs come at the end of each of the 4 quadrants and can be thought of as the more existential signs of the zodiac. They are culminative, diffusive, open, non-specific. Gemini is mutable air which symbolizes the adoptability and infinite pathways of the mind to think about, identify and communicate anything in any number of ways. Virgo is mutable earth which speaks to the adoptability and utility of the mind to adjust, make corrections, engage with physical reality to improve upon all kinds of conditions in any kind of context. Sagittarius is mutable fire. Fire being action and also a consuming energy, this represents the availability for insight and realization that can be accessed in any enviroment. Lastly mutable water for Pisces represents the water in all things: the inherent unity of life with itself and the truth of spirit and oneness beyond any condition.
Ari Moshe Wolfe is a member of the New Paradigm Astrology Dream Team, teaching classes and courses with his colleagues. He offers private sessions assisting souls to consciously align with their evolutionary purpose in this life. To learn more about his services visit www.arimoshe.com