So, thanks to Mr. Watt, I noticed that Gordon’s review of Epoch stirred up some ceremonial feathers. I have been chewing over a response to it myself, in part because everything I have read around the edges of Epoch (since I first heard about through Gordon) has made me equal parts frustrated and excited, which probably points toward some material I need to work through.
I’ll admit, though, that I was surprised to see Jupiter as the point of contention for so many people. I have a different take than Gordon, perhaps, but not so far away that Gordon’s glib summary bothered me. I read through the responses to Gordon and it seems like folks might be missing an important point:
There isn’t one Jupiter.
At least, there isn’t one Jupiter at the level where we live and breathe. Jupiter as we talk about ‘him’ a ritual or magical context is a potency, one that realizes itself in numerous concrete and specific situations. That potency resonates across those specific situations and that resonance establishes communication, but moving from resonance to identity borders on superstition.
The resonances between different expressions of Jovian potency aren’t always compatible. Keep in mind that you often need a specific kind of Jupiter, not just Jupiter in general. Knowing the degree to which one Jupiter resonates with another also provides you with some avenue for determining whether that potency might help you get access to the other.
If you go to Jupiter for money, you are going to put yourself in harmony with the Jupiterian force of money, which means the whole kit and kaboodle that Gordon pokes at. You could also go to Jupiter, though, to strengthen your connection to family or community, to participate more fully in the resources it can provide.
The thing with Jupiter is that he likes to integrate systems, so when you go to Jupiter, you are asking to enter into a two-way relationship. Want money? Well, that means a job that you actually put some work into. Want help from family? That means pitching in around the house, showing up to dinner, being nice to relatives to keep things nice and flowing. Want authority? You need to earn it with some work.
Jupiter encourages responsibility to the system.
Which means that going to Jupiter can be a bit like Gordon described, because Jupiter does favor the centers of a system, the aristocrats, the bosses, the parents, the teachers and so on. Unless you are such a figure, you get benefits for behaving. If you see your family or the financial system as corrupt or evil, you are putting yourself in a morally tenuous spot, giving your fealty and support to the system for the sake of its beneficence.
Jupiter’s commitment to the system gives a lot more support to its central elements, its teachers. bosses, and parents. That said, it supports them as elements of the system, too, albeit exceptional ones. If you want Jupiter to bulk up your authority, you also have to bulk up your commitment to the field you want authority within.
I would argue that we can judge the relative health of a society by the degree to which the different Jovian potencies support (or fail to support) each other. Presently, I would suggest that our various Jupiters aren’t at their most simpatico and that you should keep that in mind when you are working Jupiter.
On this point, it feels like both Rufus Opus and Chris Bradford missed the mark a little. Jupiter isn’t naked power and Jupiter most definitely has a sense of ethics. It is inherent in the distributional nature of his potency. It is just that the Jovian potency is perfectly willing to exploit what lies beyond the system it organizes.