A common question people usually have is what is the difference between life purpose and career – can these two be aligned into one or they are innately different, and what are they?

This is a great question and to approach it, we must first understand that there are actually three aspects of purpose:

1. purpose of life,
2. purpose/karma of your work and career, and
3. purpose of your soul or soul mission

These can be three different paths, or they can be all into one, or they can twist and turn through the years and sometimes meet and merge. It is unique to each person.

Purpose is something that isn’t one thing, nor is it a title. You can think of it as something that weaves through the years – and yet it isn’t one specific thing because there are various layers of purpose, lessons, soul growth and karma, that we come into this life with and for. There is purpose on a higher self level, there is purpose on a soul level or something specific for this life, there is purpose for greater consciousness or the godhead, there is purpose or karma related to the lineage of the soul or the ancestral line, etc. So keep in mind that it isn’t one thing – and that at its essence, when you are staying true to your inner essence and aligned to your path, all else will naturally and organically happen.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when we talk about purpose, we will also be talking about karma – because dharma and karma are connected – as it is essentially why you came here. 

And the last thing to remember is that fate is like a wave – it comes when it comes but what we choose to do then is our free will – will we stay on the beach, go surfing, or go home? There is no right or wrong, it is your choice, your decision and intention, and consequences will be yours too. Whatever unfolds as a result of these choices, is essentially the path that creates your destiny. So your fate is that you were born of a particular height making it great for you to be a basketball player, but what you do with this height is up to you, and even when you become that great basketball star, what will you do then – will you fall into addictions and the high life, or will you continue to work hard and consistently and do good in the world also?

Now let’s begin.

In astrology, the three planets that we’ll look at for higher purpose are Jupiter, Saturn and the Sun. Keep in mind that these are only general descriptions. For personal consultations, browse through my Sacred Offerings.

Jupiter – Purpose of Life

Our purpose of life can be seen through our Jupiter, as this often shows the highest purpose and karma that we are here to accomplish. Our natal Jupiter is the key to our spiritual purpose in this life, and what we will do in an individual way to accomplish this purpose will be revealed by the nature of our Ascendant, and its ruler.

In esoteric astrology, Jupiter’s primary purpose is one of fusion. Essentially, we are all here to merge and blend the various lesser aspects and dualities of heart and mind in order to create greater love and wisdom. Jupiter acts through the energies of the Ray of Love and Wisdom, to become the vehicle through which the Ray of Consciousness may externalize the Divine Plan in our solar system. This is why in our own chart it shows abundance, expansion, wisdom, higher teachings and learning – through which we then help make our world a better place – because change starts from within. So when we learn, we grow, we evolve, and we contribute.

The esoteric ruler of Jupiter is Aquarius, which shows its limitless blessings to be externalized for the benefit to humanity. In other words – the more we become better people, and the more aligned to a higher path, integrity and higher values we are, and the more disciplined we are in embodying these qualities through our every day actions, gestures, words and hands – the more we are living out our life’s purpose. Our natal Jupiter essentially shows the aread of our life we are evoking the most love and wisdom through which we contribute to society and our world.

To understand our natal Jupiter’s meaning, you need to consider its sign, nakshastra (constellation), house placement and aspects to other planets.

The house placement particularly is really important as it shows where there is the greatest tendency toward fusion, and the possibility for the greatest achievement regarding this facet of the higher self. For example, Jupiter in the 9th house reveals a developed ability to fuse and blend various spiritual beliefs, philosophies, religions etc. in order to teach others about the interconnection, universality and inclusivity of all and everything. Jupiter’s position in our chart is essentially the place where we can evoke the most love and wisdom out of the environment, and thus, where a great deal of his spiritual contribution to and from life may be found.

You also need to see whether there are any planets conjunct it, before it (12th from itself) or right after it (2nd from itself). If there is a conjunction, look at the degrees. If there is a planet 12th from itself, i.e. in the sign/house before it, then this possibly implies that these are the qualities you’ve taken on from previous incarnations towards accomplishing this life’s purpose. For example, if it is Mars – perhaps you are very good at fighting for a cause or protecting something, etc.

If there is a planet 2nd from Jupiter, these are perhaps the qualities that will be supporting you and should be taken upon in this life towards your purpose. For example, if it is Venus, then you need to revive and rejuvenate knowledge.

If your natal Venus is opposite your Jupiter, then that means you will revive and rejuvenate knowledge, and give it to others – you are essentially here to teach people to love and how to have more fulfilling and harmonious relationships, out of wisdom and self-awareness. If there is a Mercury opposition, perhaps you will be rejuvenating wellness, health, and teaching on these matters.

Saturn – Work and Career

The karma and dharma of our work, profession and career is seen through Saturn. For some people, their life purpose and/or soul’s calling is their work also; and for others it isn’t. What this area of our life shows is what service we provide to others and make money from i.e. not just life’s work – it is work work. If we have an aspect connecting our Jupiter with Saturn, most likely these will be aligned; and if not, that’s okay, as it doesn’t mean we are not doing something important.

In fact – our Saturn is the work work we come here to do. This is because he is known as the Lord of Karma; and in esoteric astrology, he is a representative of the Law of Economy on all levels of the personality. What this means is that this is the area of life that actually allows us to grow, evolve and mature. In fact, Saturn is our testing ground of proving our maturity and the responsibility in dealing with what he’s learned or achieved. Through Saturn we learn dedication, perseverance, endurance, devotion, work, consistency, responsibility, accountability, self discipline, self control, humility and patience. There is no spiritual growth without first chop wood, carry water.

This is why in the old days, spiritual students would spend many years in simple ordinary hard every day work – chop wood, carry water – without even being taught one little spiritual wisdom. Only after they learned all the qualities of Saturn, they were initiated into higher knowledge and wisdom, because otherwise they were not considered ready.

Saturn is the Lord of Karma, and he stands at the Gates of Initiation ready to put all who approach to the test. Once tests are passed, and we’ve matured, this is the area of life where we’ll gain most rewards on a soul level. Through self awareness, his gates open and all our conscious choices become actual possibilities.

Saturn’s house position in our chart reveals where our dharma and duty are and where we may expect tests of restriction and self discipline to arise – but where we’ll also reap beautiful rewards on all levels of consciousness. The sign position reveals what the soul is seeking to perfect in the present life, in order to foster its own growth; and combined with the house placement, it shows where is our inner urge for the fulfillment of a specific type of karma, and the kinds of circumstances which will bring these lessons in our life. It is important to emphasize that Saturn is our own initiation portal i.e. these are tests and lessons that we have consciously chosen in order to fulfill something of deep desire to us.

Sun – Soul Mission

Respect the one who resides in the heart of all beings, keeping awake when they are asleep. He is the sacrificial fire and the fruit gained. Sun is the origin and the protector, the sacrifices given and the fruits obtained by perfoming these sacrifices. Sun is the fire of consciousness, the knower that burns the layers of those that desire to be known, aiding us on the path of self-knowledge. He is the lord of all action in our worlds and decides the path. As dusk and dawn follow their own paths, as birds know the direction of flight.

And last, but certainly not least, is our soul mission – which is seen through our natal Sun. The Sun signifies the solar soul – and you were born to embody this solar light in this life, this is your fuel of life. Essentially, your soul mission is what releases you from karma; it is what you need to burn for liberation of your soul. It is a burning and peeling of layers to unveil your true essence and bring you closer to God.

The heart of the Sun stimulates and enlivens your soul awareness. Your Sun’s purpose, or soul mission, is essentially to be your true self – and become the vehicle of love.

The Sun has a triple function depending on its level of manifestation. On the physical level, the Sun energizes the life potential within each cell and atom – it is the “Breath of Life”. On the spiritual level, the Sun is life itself, the divine expression of the “Will to Be”. On the soul level, the Sun is the source of consciousness. In esotericism, this soul aspect of the Sun is called “Heart of the Sun” – as the heart is the initiatory portal for higher consciousness. It is through the heart (both in human and solar expressions), that soul awareness and the consciousness of love is activated.

As mentioned, the Sun is our fuel in life and our soul’s mission (and soul’s karma) – because it is what burns us and peels us until we liberate ourselves and reach God. So being born of a particular Sun sign is really important and allows you to step into the higher manifestation of this energy, so that you can spiritually grow and evolve. Sun is the fire, the solar wisdom, the consciousness or essence of the fire that pull us forward on our path towards our soul’s purpose.

In our natal chart, the Sun reveals the nature of the present incarnation from the point of view of temperament, characteristics and way of expression one’s life energies. It also shows where you’ll shining light and awareness onto things, and helping your own soul grow and evolve, while also raising the consciousness and awareness of other people also. It shows your creative potential, and how you’ll be embodying this solar light in order to bring more energy to all around you. It shows what light you are carrying and how you’ll use this in life to fulfill your soul’s mission.

For example, if your natal Sun is in Cancer, you carry what’s known as the light within form. You are here to create an environment anchored in both inner and outer morals and values, to bring the nurturing love of soul to others. You bring the liquid form of water and become the inclusive ocean of life itself, nurturing all and everyone. If your Sun is in aspect to Jupiter, especially opposition, you will certainly be able to align both soul mission and life purpose into one – your work will be a soul’s calling – and you’ll be embodying the higher wisdom of love and teaching it to others also. If Saturn is aspecting this, you will probably make this a career i.e. support yourself financially from your soul’s work; just be mindful to walk a patience of rhythm as it may take many years to come together – don’t give up and keep going, and stay in integrity and high ethics.

If this is happening in your 3-9 axis, then this may be you having the natural talent and gift to translate complex philosophical and higher spiritual knowledge into something more accessible and easier to other people to absorb, ingest, digest and hopefully better understand. If Venus is in this mix, you are literally here to teach people how to love, how to have higher values and healthy self-esteem, and even just your own way of expressing yourself throughout life through your beautiful words carries the voice and song of the infinite love of your soul. Through the way you carry yourself, people feel inspired and want to see the beauty of all and everything.   

Whenever you are doing something related to your natal Sun whether as work, talent, skill or every day action and gesture, embodying its qualities – you are essentially allowing yourself to grow into self-awareness. For example, if your Sun is in Gemini, develop the higher manifestation of this energy such as intellectual curiosity, playfulness, purposeful research, and your wordsmith abilities rather than engaging in gossiping, flightiness, meaningless chatter, scattering etc. 

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Cover artwork by Margarete Petersen.

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