Hubris Versus Nemesis

This extract from Signals – by Pippa Malmgren – makes me think of Jupiter and Saturn aspects. It is very much that interplay.

“…the economy begins inside the human soul, driven by the never-ending battle between the Greek goddesses Hubris and Nemesis for possession of our psyche. The ancient Greeks described Hubris as the spirit who lights the fire or desire or greed and compels us to take risks to achieve what the ego desires.

The ego wants more: more status, more money, more success, more material possession, more recognition, more knowledge, more confidence. Hubris is a powerful force in the world economy, because to propels individuals and societies to innovate – which is always risky – and thereby generate growth, wealth and G.D.P.

Nemesis is the goddess of retribution, targeting those who indulge in too much hubris. She douses the fire of hubris with doubt and punishes hubris with loss. Nemesis lurks at the edge of every business and every balance sheet and every job. She peers over the shoulder of every risk-taker, threatening to undermine the hope and aspiration of the endeavor.

Hubris gives rise to hope and Nemesis gives rise to fear, but both are critical to the proper functioning of the world economy. It is the balancing of the two that permits people to successfully achieve their goals and contribute to a flourishing economy. An excess of either spirit is likely to end in economic catastrophe.”


This totally pertains to the astrological Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter = Hubris and Saturn = Nemesis. Balance these two and you’re well set to thrive in most areas. If you’re born with Jupiter and Saturn in a friendly alignment, you have a head start.

Most of us get to learn how to balance our hedonistic and stoic dimensions through overdoing it in one regard or another. You know how it goes, if you’re too audacious and venture-some, you can wind up in a tonne of debt or relying too much on faith + instinct.

Yet if you’re overly saturnine and always scared of one nemesis or another, you never take any risk – creativity, spontaneity and enterprising ebullience themselves feel like giant risk factors. Or you lose the narrative thread in a vortex of numbers and stats.

It’s interesting that this author delineates the excess that can come from emphasis on Hubris or Nemesis but also says this interplay is essential for the world economy. Is it the same for our psyche? And has trying to keep the economy in artificial ‘hubris’ mode for so long locked in a harder retribution when nemesis finally gets a word in?

Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions – occurring every 19.85 years – have long been linked to cycles of rulers, financial protocols and the economy. They’re when Hubris and Nemesis meet and have to get along.

It can be fascinating to look at your natal Jupiter-Saturn aspects – if these two were in conjunction, square, trine or opposition at the time of your birth, the Astral DNA report delineates it.

If not? They may be in a more subtle aspect like a quincunx or you could be like me and they’re genuinely not speaking to one another. I feel like every burst of Jupiter or Saturnine input is novel, like the first time I’ve ever heard of it.

And to be fair, given that this planetary interaction is so vital to governance and the economy, it’s funny that that politicians so often run on a similar line: “We’re going to spend, really spend…to fund x, y and z” followed by “austerity is the only answer….”

It seems like boom-bust, Jupiter-Saturn, hubris-nemesis is locked into human nature in some ways. And annoyingly, people can make a lot of gains from it just by following along, never mind innovation etc.


32 thoughts on “Hubris Versus Nemesis”

  1. I have Jupiter (conjunt Neptune) in Sag in my 3rd in 2 deg direct to Saturn (conjunct Pallas) in gemini in my 9th
    Above describes my life – keeping the two in constant balancing act.
    Keeps my 1st Libra stellium busy I guess!

  2. The Lion & The Centaur

    I have no particular aspects between Saturn and Jupiter but I have Saturn in Aquarius in my 2nd house and Jupiter in Libra in my 8th house sextile my Leo sun in 7th. So there is definitely a certain opposition, which Jupiter tends to win as I’m also triple conjunct Sagg. But Saturn in Saggitarius has been a hard school for me, especially around 2nd house themes and my Jupiter Hubris happy go lucky has been introduced to some stone hard BOUNDARIES. I hope my Saturn return in few years won’t be as hard because of all this Saturnine action already happening around my Sagg ascendant, moon and north node… Fingers crossed teehee!

  3. Jupiter conjunct Saturn in the 8th in Capricorn square a Mars/Mercury conjunction in the 5th in Libra. My life has been characterized by feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and feeling like I need to earn the right to my next breath. Saturn crushes my spirit.
    Then Jupiter looks around from his place on the couch, where he’s drinking and eating chips and says, “eh, might as well keep on, blah blah, hope’s absurd, death comes to all, but what’s the alternative,” and Mercury and Mars say “yeah fuq you Saturn” and I say something or write something and another day begins.
    I understand this is not how one does haute Saturn 😉

  4. You might recall my Hubris driven, Nemesis impacted comments on the Strangler Vine threads.

    Just as i am seeking inner and divine wisdom to lift up my approach and energy ( with a blast from Merc Retro to rocket fuel my digital organisation – yes, my personal hardware fried suddenly – yes, im trying to job apply), i looked up to see a RAINBOW.

    Sphinx, that prism metaphor. I just felt at the time it was going to be meaningful thru the eclipse-retro business. Thank you so so much. You’re like the psych healer-reader i’ve been seeking. Profound appreciation for you and the site connections i experience here xxxxxxx

  5. Hmmmm, I read this as a bit like a marketing spin on a faulty concept. Hubris and nemesis are the tools of Jupiter and Saturn, that’s how they run the economy, run us. There are better ways. If the central foundations of any system are guided by ego and greed then they are limited and essentially faulty. People and systems can be effective without either.

  6. Would this apply to Jupiter in Capricorn? I have sun conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn and Saturn in Scorp. I’m an Astro novice but from what I’m learning Cap and Scorpio seem to be complementary energies?

  7. I love thinking about this stuff …pondered sat v jup after reading mm’s article you are you strongest conjunction(s). Neptune Saturn conj in 3h cap; mars Jupiter Conj in 7h Taurus. No aspect between these. So I guess I need a solid plan for my art and dreaming /communicating and to just let the action / business partners/ lovers roll in with luck?

    I am glad the conjunctions aren’t square or I would probably be stunt driving Maseratis off of cliffs into a pile of space dust intensity.

  8. Cafe Astro says Saturn in the 1st House is about putting others ahead of the self, keeping self in check. Then that it is in Cancer, so maybe about nurturing/protection, so I think in that my Saturn is trine with my Jupiter in the 9th in Pisces probably could be a ‘martyr’ kind of placement. Except that being in trine, it’s almost like, it’s not an issue emotionally, it’s ok if that is the way. In fact, I would see it more that not serving others would be painful and mean depression has set it’s claws in, because Jupiter needs inspiration spiritually and Saturn will turn on the Self without this support?
    Well it’s a theory!

    1. I see it as serving/ being a welcoming presence/inspiring others especially your “tribe” but having good boundaries with your energy

  9. Worlds to ponder. I love this, and as a slightly manic/depressive (luckily very slight tendency) I see hubris and nemesis in my own psyche… thanks Myst

        1. Wow. this is amazingly relevant: Saturn in 11th house

          With Saturn in your eleventh house, your goals and objectives can only be attained through hard work and persistence. But persevere, for “Saturn delays but does not deny.” It has been said that you have to earn everything with this placement of Saturn, but if this is done the rewards will be great, and life just gets better as it goes on. You seek older friends; but use discrimination in your choices, for the wrong ones will cause great trouble. Although you know many people few are really close to you, perhaps due to an unconscious fear of the demands intimate friends can make. You work hard to make your dreams and ideals a reality, and likewise spare no effort in community or group work.

          Souls born with Saturn in Pisces have sympathy and compassion for others, but have a hard time being detached and still loving. Because you tend to soak up negativity and react to it emotionally, it would help to learn not to identify so much with other people’s problems. There may be part of your past that haunts you, surfacing as vague uneasiness, depression, or subconscious fears. Try to become more aware of it and to let it go. Your test here is that of severance: letting go, letting the chips fall where they may, and letting God do the work that needs to be done. Saturn returns to each sign once every 29 or 30 years for about a three-year stay. In the last 100 years Saturn was in Pisces from February 1935 to January 1938, from March 1964 to March 1967, and from May 1993 to April 1996.

  10. I have five planets in Sagittarius including Uranus and I have Jupiter in Aquarius. I feel like it’s a pretty sweet mutual reception.

    Uranus and Jupiter are sextile. 17 degrees Sag and 15 degrees Aquarius.

  11. I have a Jupiter-Saturn quincunx. Both make several other aspects, but I’ve never really felt (or perhaps I mean understood) Jupiter in my chart. I definitely feel Saturn. That said, I’ve never thought about Jupiter as the hedonist, so I will ponder that in the morning when sober!

    1. I have them both quincunx too. I’m Jupiter / mercury ruled, as Jupiter in Virgo, early degrees/ regulus – is 12th house conjunction asc. Yet Saturn sits in mars ruled Aries on cusp 7/8th, and is fairly gritty, but I think it’s hard/ tough going…

      Stoicism…some kind of exacting mission?

  12. My natal Saturn (Aquarius/1st house) does not aspect my natal jupiter (Scorpio/9th house) but until recently, I’ve alternated between being detached and feeling everything (moon conjunct mars in over-the-top Sagittarius also adds to the latter). Just now I’m getting the balance and exercising the ability to detach enough not to drown in my feelings but not so much that I act too alien.

    A cool exercise to do is tracking your Jupiter and Saturn transits and evaluating them to see how to work them in a complementary way, e.g., identifying what lessons/limitations Saturn in libra (2009-2012) brought and how those can be expanded over/broken through now that Jupiter is in that sign.

  13. Tangentially, I just want to say that I particularly appreciate that last tidbit – these days the world seems so Modern Astrology-centric that peeps do tend to forget about or outright disregard Traditional assignments. So I love seeing astro-PSA reminders about old-school rulerships because I feel they are important to consider for a more complete view. This is especially apparent in the case of our Aquas – Hickey said there were 2 types of Aquarians (the ones dominated by Saturn and the ones dominated by Uranus) and she was right. They are quite different in disposition and to understand which of the two you have on your hands, look to see which planet is weighted more heavily in the nativity. This goes for any sign that has co-rulers, but in the case of Aquarius the schism seems particularly wide.

  14. Hmmmmm,

    I’ve got a saturn jupiter trine. cap saturn 0 degrees(exact conjunction to uranus), but both are one degree behind my Cap Asc so in 12th house Sag (conunjunct Mars)
    Jupiter trines from late degrees of Aries, in my 3rd house.

    I can’t say I can fully articulate how these energies play out, but even if I were to try going to far in either direction the opposite brings me right back relatively quickly (and often in the past painfully because I wasn’t at all aware of the patterns.)
    If I get to down and inert (Sat) even dig my heels in I literally watch myself still get through things, like another positive force comes online and drags me along until I start moving on my own again.
    If I get too over the top or let my mind get carried away with me there is a distinct pinch of speaking along the spectrum lines of ‘how are you going to actually do that’ to ‘F*ck off with all the fantasizing and prioritize what can actually be manifested!’ Also definitely in this latter mix is the fear, always (which I also peg to Mars in the 12th house, hidden warrior energies + Mars has a moon Phobia always orbiting around it – wherever the warrior goes, fear goes, but since warrior is a bit hidden and I’m inclined to ping to fear buttons, it feels like a a daunting task, but one that is also completely inevitable to have to be worked through.)

  15. I have a natal Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. I’ve always wondered what it meant and yes, “the never-ending battle” between work and play, casual and serious, ant and grasshopper, feels like a constant fight to the death at the core of my being

    1. Regarding Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions, it’s always good to bear in mind that one of the two will still tend to dominate to tip the balance in its favor. For example, all other things being equal the conjunctions in ‘61 & ‘81 generally featured Saturn as the Alpha Dawg since they took place in the signs of Capricorn (where Saturn has rulership) and Libra (where he has exaltation). This can certainly be offset by other factors in the chart, but I think when dealing w/ planets who are natural opposites or when there’s a dual rulership scenario going on it’s definitely worth bearing this in mind if trying to hack your own chart.

  16. Re: the last sentence, I tend to use the Saturnine end of my Aqua rising as a sort of Stealth Mode for interacting with Muggles. Helpful when you work in a field as aesthetically conservative as medicine. I almost feel like that has to do with the whole Style Your Ascendant (might not be remembering the name right), with Aquarius being either Total Normcore or Magnificently Bananas.

    1. I totally relate to this! Aqua rising too and I recall being more Uranian in my youth and maybe swinging more to Saturnine now to balance out

    2. Haha yes! My dad is an aquarian in the Heath care biz..he’s pretty saturnine but with a kooky side -picture business casual but secretly rocking the psychedelic mushroom or ninja socks

  17. Oh my Lordette all I could think as I read this is it is my parent’s relationship in a nutshell. My father is Pisces with Sun conjunct Jupiter and my mother is a Scorpio Sun conjunct Mercury and Venus. He is full of blow hardiness & whimsy, she can be quite a pin to his balloon. Sadly she would have to be a porcupine to really have any impact as his hubris really is otherworldy.

    1. I was just thinking this, though in reverse. My mother is a big-thinking optimistic Pisces, and my dad is a pragmatic Capricorn.

      1. Yeah, Pisces can and do think big in lots of surprisingly material ways, I always get a shock when some property loving, structure hungry, herder of sheep in Piscean clothing comes along, but there are lots of them! They just chuckle and sparkle as they wield their crook I guess.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *