Joseph Campbell, a hero

This evening a friend of mine mentioned Joseph Campbell in the context of storytelling, and I remembered seeing his chart once and being struck by the tight Conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter, describing a wise, learned and philosophical person. I’ve just dug it out again for another look. I don’t know nearly as much about him and his work as I’d like to. Here’s to taking that journey a little further!

Joseph Campbell’s fascination with the hero motif seems perfectly represented by the Sun and Jupiter in close Conjunction (not to speak of Mars on an angle). Sun Conjunct Jupiter is all about finding a meaningful role, being a saviour, redeemer, healer or teacher. This role intrigued him, but he managed to become an embodiment of it too.

The Moon is closely Trine the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter. This 5/9 relationship between the Sun and Moon is very auspicious and points to a naturally intuitive and sincere quality; this idea strongly reinforced by Jupiter being so intimately involved with both luminaries.

All these planets connect powerfully with Neptune: the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter are Square Neptune, and there is a Semi-Sextile aspect between the Moon and Neptune. Joseph Campbell is absorbed in what some would call a fantasy world of myth, but it seems he’s able to articulate how these archetypal dramas are reflected in, and can give meaning to, our ‘commonplace’ stories.

In Vedic terms the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter are all in Pisces in the 7th House, with Mercury the lord of a Virgo Ascendant. The debilitation of Mercury is cancelled by the fact that its dispositor, Jupiter, is so strong (Jupiter being in its own sign in an angular house and forming Hamsa Yoga by Jyotish criteria). However, as is the case with Einstein, who also has Mercury in Sidereal Pisces as Ascendant lord, Jospeh Campbell’s intellect is preoccupied with abstract and universal ideas, and this is not typical of Mercury.

With Jupiter so powerful (in own sign and angular from the Ascendant and in the 9th from the Moon), Joseph Campbell is a celebrated ‘guru’. In fact, Jupiter becomes a dominant planet in the chart due to it’s many layers of strength. The fact that Jupiter is so much stronger than Mercury is reflected in the fact that he’s not essentially interested in data, he’s interested in the broader understanding and wisdom that Jupiter represents.

If the Sun is the archetypal ‘hero’, its Conjunction with Jupiter describes its noblest purpose, and its fullest and most meaningful social contribution. Would it be too much to say that in his own way Joseph Campbell in some measure heals and redeems the archetypal hero from obscurity and distortion in the collective psyche?

This is just what I’m noticing at first glance. I look forward to delving more deeply into this chart. What do you see in it?

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