The key indicator of optimism in a chart is Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius. Moon in Sagittarius, Jupiter conjunct Moon, Sun in Sag/Moon in Cancer ~ these are some of the other possible symbols of optimism in a natal chart.
I’ve chosen these examples because Jupiter is exalted in Cancer. Exaltation means that a planet has its greatest ease of expression in that sign. It’s comfortable there. I have a same degree Jupiter conjunct Moon on the IC in my own chart so I’m familiar with how these energies blend. I call it my “soft place to fall.” When everything seems at its worst, I am usually able to wrap myself in a blanket of hope and humor. That is the mood that makes me feel like I’m in the nest made just for me.
Cancer and Sagittarius are signs that are inconjunct, however ~ meaning that they are not especially comfortable with each other, there’s some level of uneasiness between them. So how does Jupiter find exaltation in Cancer?
And what happens when that astrological signature is pitted against something as confining as Saturn?
Well, the story goes…
Ops (Opis) was Saturn’s wife and the mother of Jupiter. Saturn wanted to devour all his children (and ate most of them), but Jupiter is the child that Ops saved. She gave gave Saturn a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to swallow instead. She protected her child. Jupiter got lucky. (You may be more familiar with this story played by Cronos, Rhea, and Zeus.)
So going back to the early Greek/Roman myths, we can find something that ties Cancer and Sagittarius, Jupiter and the Moon together. In a way, Ops exalted Jupiter by duping Saturn ~ she favored her son. We can take the metaphor even further by saying that reality (Saturn) will always want to consume optimism (Jupiter). It’s why those pie-in-the-sky, happy-go-lucky pollyannas irritate the hell out of the Scrooges of the world.
This unlikely pair also shares a generosity of heart and spirit. They each nurture ~ Cancer/Moon through her consoling empathy and Sag/Jupiter through the welcoming acceptance of the foreign and new. Both have hope for a better tomorrow by belonging, either to a family of their own blood ties or the banding together of kindred spirits.
Optimism is a beautiful thing that sometimes gets the rug pulled out from under it. If you want to change a life forever, break an optimist’s heart. Give them a dose of truth that will not only knock those rose colored glasses off their face, but essentially rid them of hope in any area of life. Maybe that’s a good thing in the long run. We all need a good dose of reality once in a while. Saturn seems to revel in it. Jupiter could be called the “Come-Back Kid,” though ~ he seems to be able to repeatedly rally his good humor and believe yet again that, yes, there is good in the world.
We see this Saturn/Jupiter rivalry play out with people who won’t give up on love. Maybe they are hopelessly in love with someone that is so wrong for them and they view a rather drab and lackluster world through the romantic lens of rose colored glasses. We all shake our heads at how deluded they are, but they just keep hanging in there. The Big Question “WHY?” has a simple answer. Hope.
Rose Colored Glasses is an old country love song by John Conlee that exquisitely sums up the optimist’s hope for a better tomorrow even if today isn’t so great. He sings of hanging on to beliefs, perceived beauty, and the escape from a truth one just can’t bear. Memories of good times outweigh a reality that has spiraled downward. There’s a strong Neptunian influence at work in this song, but Jupiter’s optimism ~ undying hope ~ is the backdrop for a love story where someone plays the fool.
Related post on this blog:
Sagittarius ~ The Truth is Out There
For a brief explanation of how exaltations were determined, click here.