Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 16, 2009

Hyperactive Jupiter Syndrome—The Down Side of an Upbeat Planet

©2004 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

astroanalysis-2014-220x300Note:  this is an excerpt from my ebook, Astrological Analysis:  Select Topics in Chart Interpretation, available at

The board of our local astrology group was on retreat at the coast, our reward for a year of hard work as well as an interval to make plans for the coming year.

It was Saturday night, our one communal meal—as close to communal as could encompass preferences that spanned raw food and vegan all the way to steak. Despite the often-spirited policy debates at our monthly meetings, here we were making an effort to mellow out and socialize.

All but Annuncia. Annuncia was what she’d christened herself a few months back. Last year, when she believed she was channeling Mother Teresa, she called herself MT, and the year before, it was Cassandra, after the mythical seeress whose prophecies were always accurate but were never heeded.  Let’s just say that her highly-vocal opinions on how each committee should operate hadn’t contributed a whole lot to group harmony during her tenure. 

annuncia-a2dBoard meetings hadn’t left room for Annuncia to pursue her true calling, which was to inform and edify those around her on a wide variety of topics at every opportunity.

The retreat provided a captive audience, so she’d launched impromptu workshops on everything from removing psychic cords to Right Livelihood to the Power of Forgiveness to the dangers of prescription drugs.

While we couldn’t really disagree on the importance of these topics, most of us had mastered the basics years ago and moved on to deeper levels. She didn’t get that she was preaching to the converted, even when her audience repeatedly melted away just as she was primed to enlighten us.

Tonight at the communal meal, however, she had us pinned down. Despite repeated hints that we didn’t want another workshop, she began lecturing those of us who weren’t on a raw food diet about the dangers of intestinal plaque. As we passed around heavy-laden food platters, she segued into a graphic description of the typical American colon, followed by the ways high colonics, prolonged fasting, and herbal cleansings could cure us.

Annuncia—not her real name, because she’s held three more christening ceremonies since that retreat—is a prime example of what I’ve identified as Hyperactive Jupiter Syndrome (HAJ).

Specifically, she epitomizes a variety called a NAKIA (New Age Know-It-All). You’ve met them—the Jehovah’s Witnesses of the metaphysical world. In this article, we’ll encounter other strains of HAJ, a disease that became an epidemic in the time Pluto traveled through Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius.

And, yes, I know that a Haj is a pilgrimage. Not coincidentally, the yearning for one sort of pilgrimage or another is what initially drives Jupiterians.  When used in a balanced way, there’s nothing wrong with Jupiter’s energies, as it represents the basic human desire to expand our knowledge and to teach others what we’ve learned that helps us collectively evolve.

Individuals with HAJ, however, have crossed the line from desire into compulsion, and in the process have become overzealous, even arrogant.  They move from seeking answers for themselves to having all the answers for others. They’re also heavily invested in Being Right, which means someone else must be wrong.astrologerplanets-a2d

THE ASTROLOGER WITH ALL THE ANSWERS:  Astrologers, especially those practicing less than ten years, are prime candidates for HAJ.

Francois Gauquelin once lectured about research findings on careers associated with various planets that fall into the area within 10° of the Midheaven.  She asked us to guess which planet was most often found there in astrologers’ charts.

Naturally, Uranus was the first guess, and when that wasn’t it, we went with Neptune, also incorrect. The answer was Jupiter.

Many of us are drawn to astrology to gain answers about our own lives, and to give us a sense of knowing what the future holds. Astrology lends itself to the illusion of omniscience because of the personal details the chart reveals.

Clients do pressure us for definite answers to the uncertainties that keep them up at night. The difficulty arises when we generalize from observing a few cases in which a particular chart feature correlated with a particular character trait or event, or when we read an astrology book, no matter how seasoned the author, and treat it as a gospel in a current situation.

The stars have a way of confounding us. Each planet, each house, and each sign has so many different modes and levels of expression that we can only conjecture on the spectrum of ways it might play out for a given individual.

One of my students was terrified because Pluto was approaching her daughter’s Ascendant, and when it had crossed her elderly mother’s Ascendant, she died. I pointed out that her daughter was 16, a total hottie, and the boys were sniffing around. She didn’t know whether to be relieved or appalled when I suggested she have a frank talk with her daughter about sex.

A transiting planet represents different challenges at different phases of life—the first, second, and third Saturn returns being an example. To even approach a “prediction,” you need a dialogue with the client about reality factors, but astrologers with all the answers are so attached to authoritative pronouncements that they rarely ask the key questions.

THE BORN AGAIN BIGOT:  Lest you think HAJ is only seen in New Age seekers, let me say that it is an international epidemic. It wears different guises, depending on the culture and religious persuasion, but it’s increasingly characterized by intolerance and even fanaticism. Intolerance and bigotry are perversions of Jupiter.

Perhaps because the challenges and issues of modern living are so complex, demanding, and even risky, answers provided by orthodox religious doctrines seldom suffice. Rather than seek within for new answers, followers seem to hold more and more desperately to the ones they were taught, out of fear and uncertagroupstrange-a2dinty.

In the process, they can become rigid, punitive toward those with other ideas, and more and more evangelical.

In the United States, churches become mega-churches and campaign vigorously to enact laws to enforce their beliefs, imposing them on others.

In mideastern countries, women are stoned for daring to show their faces or to defy their male relatives’ decisions about their lives.  Car bombers and terrorists believe their acts are for the glory of Allah. I often think that Jupiter—not Mars—is the God of War, for it has spawned so many wars in the name of religion.

Many who don’t find an answer in church find it in politics or nationalism, and they, too, seem to have become more virulently fanatical. In the United States, the growing wave of hatred toward foreigners will not ultimately distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. The green card is not tattooed on their forehead.

The rage at people who come from abroad to seek the good life we take for granted ultimately becomes bigotry. This rage can fuel personal violence and hate crimes.

We still give lip service to equality and political correctness, and so there is a career cost for celebrities like Mel Gibson who make racist remarks. Comedians like Michael Richards and shock jocks like Don Imus are recent examples of hoof in mouth disease, followed by abject apologies at press conferences and often a stay in rehab.

Yet, if you open your ears, these well-known individuals are only publicly voicing what the average Joe can and does say with impunity in private over some brewskis with his buds.

 Transits and the HAJ—When Everything You Thought You Knew Isn’t Enough

Though HAJ can lead people to run rampant over other people’s beliefs and can be personally ruinous at worst, it tends to be a self-limiting disease.   The cure may well come in the form of a series of transits to the person’s natal Jupiter.

Having experienced repeated outer planet passages to my own fairly active Jupiter, I can testify that they’re no picnic.  They can bring on a major crisis of faith in which all those treasured answers we’re so invested in no longer suffice.  Our teachers, whether personally encountered or loved from afar, all too often don’t offer any new ones.

One such rude awakening I can recall was when I came to understand that there are people who aren’t going to get better, no matter how much light I shed on their problems (Pluto square Jupiter). With another (Neptune opposite Jupiter), I lost my connection to God and spent a heart-sickening year exploring alternatives, only to find out that Allah was just another name for the same dude.

I don’t encounter that many NAKIAs over 65, maybe because by that age, reality has kicked us around enough that we no longer think we have all the answers—not for ourselves, much less anyone else. Age 65 would bring the fifth Jupiter return, 5 being a quirky and changeable energy for independent thought and nonconformity.

Perhaps that’s when true wisdom comes in, producing the sage or elder who gets that there aren’t any universal answers and knows when to bite their tongue and let others make their own mistakes.

So, if you yourself don’t suffer from HAJ—not AT ALL—but you know any number of people who really, really need this information, pass it along, but know it might not take root until their next half-decade.

Note: Originally pubished in The Mountain Astrologer, this has been an excerpt from my ebook, Astrological Analysis:  Select Topics in Chart Interpretation, available at

More Excerpts from Donna’s Books:

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Art credit:  As in many of the posts on this blog, the art is from, a subscription service with over 8 million graphics, including many astrological symbols.


  1. NAKIA…haha! I love it and may use that title…it fits perfectly for some people I know. 🙂

  2. The Bach flower remedy Vervain could be most helpful with HAJ. Over enthusiasm that leads to pushing a philosophy or point of view can be moderated by its use. Once that pushing becomes downright controlling, then the remedy Vine might be added.

    • Good one, Deb! I just wonder how many HAJ types would actually take a remedy–they might not think they have any need to change, that it’s the world that needs changing.

      (Folks Deb is my co-editor for Vibration, the free educational journal and blog for flower essences/aka remedies at . Donna

  3. Really good article. Not that I know anything as I profess not to know very much – but I love that old buddhist quote

    “Enlightenment begins with progressive disillusionment.”

    Or – when I run into our brick walls I say “People are crazy I guess”.

    I knew the young mother who was murdered in Massachusetts this week. Talk about yet another pluto experience of the people have issues variety. She did not deserve that fate btw.

  4. I know of a few NAKIAs. One recently lectured me, even to point of name-calling because I didn’t seem to ‘get’ that this person has all the right answers, all the time for his/her clients and is God’s most well-endowed genius in the astrology and intellectual department.
    I’ve also met preachers and academics afflicted with this syndrome as well as various New-Age know-it-alls.
    I long ago gave up any pretense at Knowing It All. Me, I know nothing and that is the start of the path to wisdom. Just think of the Fool in the taror cards.

    • Me, too, Meloh. The older I get, the less I know for sure….and it’s a great relief! Donna

  5. Oh donna…You are so good. Thank you for another incisive bullseye article. I have a ven /jup conj in sag in the 10th…I call it my “gush” ever so dependable SUPER enthusiasm!!!! (YUCK) Also I have so many obnoxious sagittarians in my life…this HAJ thing sounds like our family tapestry. Lately I have considered taking a leave of absence from astrology
    cuz I am so sick of listening to it tell me my ship is coming in…or sinking…that it all ends up being just another wash cycle. I love astrology but I am filing for a trial separation

    • LOL! I know just what you mean! Alas, though I threatened to leave many times, I just never could make good on it. Maybe what we both need is a good lawyer–oh, wait, aren’t lawyers ruled by Jupiter? It can’t be so, or they wouldn’t notoriously be dishonest! Donna

  6. Ohh! Very enlighting analysis on the subject. It makes you wonder! If I was such a person would I admit it? It seems like the hyperactive controlling disorder. The people who have it always deny it. Now if I was someone else looking at me speak what would I think? Probably she has a pinch of it. I do have jupiter in the tenth house, but he is 21 degrees away from the cusp. BUT he is in conjuction with Mercury in Leo, that should be enough I suppose. So I wouldn` t consider my self as an New age know-it-all, because the preeceding years, have been too sceptical about this movement. (Krisnamurti helped–A LOT), but any other info you want, If I have it, it would be presented at once, but only if it was posed. You had to start it, I would finish it. I have to agree with you Donna, it cant be stoped very easily,it is the experiences (quality not quantity) that make you reflect on this and sometimes you need to be confronted by someone who has the same thing and is also insulting to get the shock like I had.
    Thank you for this posting!

  7. I’m so glad I found this post! It made me feel less alone in the world. Because, you know, most of what is written about Jupiter being the “great benefic”, and how it is lucky and good for everyone. At max, you find a critique that says that jupiterian hope and luck doesn’t mean it becomes real. I don’t know any “nakia”, and I’m glad I don’t. But still, my whole life I always find somene with strong jupiterian qualities that becomes a pain. Although I consider also the classic rule of assigning Jupiter to both Sagitarius and Pisces. What amazes me about these people is that, many times they truly believe they are blessed, righteous, superior, Good, and they can’t even notice how many people they hurt.

    Con artists have a powerful Jupiter. Demagogues and compulsive liars have a powerful Jupiter, more than strong mercury. People with Narcisistic Personality Disorders also have a strong Jupiter. well, I say powerful, but it is relative.

    Well, in one hand I feel great by venting this a bit. On the other hand I feel awful and guilty for bashing Jupiterians like this…. oh well, the perks of a libra stellium…. >.<

    My Jupiter? Locked away in the 12th house in capricorn, where all jupiters should be. hahaha!

    • Hi, Arya, I so agree with you on all you say. There’s an article on Jupiter in the 12th here as part of a series on the 12th, so check it out. I have Jupiter in the 12th myself, and I like it a lot–it’s not so pushy as Jupiter in more angular houses, and more committed to uplifting others by sharing the wisdom learned from mistakes. Donna

  8. This article is everything!

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