Jupiter and the Liver

In medical astrology, Jupiter rules the liver, and there is much to be said of this relationship. Just as Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, the liver is the largest organ in the body. The liver has a great many functions: it helps us digest and absorb our food by secreting bile; it stores and distributes excess nourishment; it filters out toxic material; and it helps us form and break down blood. The planet Jupiter also performs vital functions in our lives, some of which are similar to the liver. It is wisdom gained from digesting and absorbing experiences, so that we grow from our mistakes. It is also the wisdom not to repeat damaging (toxic) mistakes.

Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, the sign that rules nourishment1. Jupiter rules wisdom, and when the body has had too much nourishment, the liver either stores or destroys the excess. A well-regulated liver knows how much is too much—and so does a well-aspected Jupiter2; however, both a diseased liver and an off-balance Jupiter cope poorly with excess

1 The ancient astrology term exalted is used when a planet is placed in its best sign. For instance, Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, Mars is in its exaltation (i.e. is exalted) in Capricorn, and Venus is exalted in Pisces.

2 When Jupiter is well-aspected, it forms mainly positive connections like trines with other planets, and can't properly regulate it. Jupiter is concerned with growth and expansion; when we eat and drink to excess, the liver expands also to compensate. After years of overindulgence, the liver enlarges permanently and gets sick. If we live it up too long, we get "liverish." Jupiterian people—that is, people with the Sun, Moon, or several planets in Sagittarius or many aspects to Jupiter—often don't know when to stop indulging, and consequently some of them wind up with liver trouble.

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