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Too Much Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of bounty. When Jupiter is making a transiting aspect to a planet or significant point in your horoscope you expect good luck. The problem is that Jupiter’s motion through the zodiac is typically rather speedy and its transit often last little more than few days. For this reason, generally speaking, Jupiter transits rarely coincide with major turning point unless they are supported by other, long term transits.

The exception is when transiting Jupiter is moving retrograde (and therefore slower) or, even better, when Jupiter is aspecting an important point in your chart by secondary progression. These secondary progressed aspects can last years, and those years can be years of incredible bounty in your life. However, they can also be years of excess and waste. Too much Jupiter, like too much of anything, can have devastating results.

A good example of this is the life of Maria Schneider. (Click here to see her horoscope.) Schneider was a French actress who is most remembered nowadays for her role in the controversial 1972 film “Last Tango in Paris.” The film was made and released during a time with Schneider’s secondary progressed Jupiter was conjunct her Descendant and, true to form, it catapulted the 19 year-old actress from obscurity to international stardom.

It might be said that Schneider was born into the acting profession because father was a famous French leading man. However, Maria was illegitimate and she had no contact with her father growing up. Instead, she was raised by her mother who, according to Vanessa Schneider in her book “My Cousin Maria Schneider,” was cold and self-involved and continually put down the ego of her illegitimate daughter.

For Aries people like Schneider reinforcement of the ego is particularly important. Aries is the sign of “fight or flight” and when an Aries Sun sign does not have sufficient self-confidence, the answer is always flight. In Schneider’s horoscope the Sun in opposed to Saturn in the Twelfth House of restrictions. Her mother’s attitude manifested what was already described in Maria’s chart: that her ego would always be undercut by self-doubt.

“Last Tango in Paris” was a movie about sexual obsession and, naturally, it was made up of pretty much wall-to-wall sex scenes. Schneider apparently had no problem with this. She was young and beautiful and it was the liberated-to-the-point-of-crazy 1970s. However, there was one scene, a scene that Schneider maintained was not in the script, in which the male lead (Marlon Brando) rapes her anally. The sex was, of course, simulated but Schneider came out of the experience feeling brutalized.

Another significant aspect in Schneider’ horoscope is the opposition of Neptune (also in the Twelfth) to Mercury. Anytime Neptune makes a strong aspect to a personal planet, particularly if the Twelfth House is involved, there is always the possibility of addiction. As I said, an Aries without self-confidence always chooses flight, and addiction is the ultimate flight from reality.

“Last Tango in Paris” was first shown at a film festival in New York in October of 1972. It was released in France in December 1972 and in the U.S. in 1973. During this period Maria Schneider became the sex symbol of the moment. The rape scene had a lot to do with this and the fact that it start off with Brando calling for butter became a running joke. For Schneider, whose Aries ego was unsupported by any real self-esteem, it was too much. She went into flight mode and that flight took her to a variety of recreational drugs and finally a heroin addiction.

By the 1980s Schneider had kicked her heroin addiction and resumed a relatively normal life, but by this time the drugs had robbed her of her child-like beauty and given her a reputation for unstablity in the filmmaking community. She continued to get small parts in small moves but, for all practical purposes, her career as a star was over.

What was also over by this time was the placement of secondary progressed Jupiter on Schneider’s Descendant.The Jupiter aspect had given Maria Schneider international fame but it had also made her into the wild child who danced in Paris discos until the weak hours and then when out looking for her dealer and a fresh fix. Now it had passed and she had to deal with life without bounty.

Maria Schneider died in 2011 of lung cancer. She kicked heroin but she was never able to put down cigarettes. Vanessa Schneider’s book (which I highly recommend) paints a vivid picture of what Maria’s sudden rise to fame cost her. Of course, she doesn’t talk about Jupiter’s role in all this, how it’s promise of bounty clashed with Schneider’s natal self-doubt. That’s what astrologers are for, to put private tragedies into a cosmic context.