The perfect steamed Xiao Long Bao, or Shanghai Pork Dumpling is a truly rare creature. The dumpling skin must be translucently thin enough for your teeth to bite cleanly through to the succulent pork within, yet strong enough so that the slightest movement by a stray chopstick won’t cause the hot broth within to leak out of the dumpling and through the slats of the bamboo steamer instead of bursting into your mouth. The minced pork filling has to be perfectly juicy- not just a glob of dried out pork mince made moist by the steaming soup.
Even the size matters. The perfect dumpling should fit neatly on a Chinese soup spoon with minimal overhang. Just enough to gently push it into your mouth with the chopstick in one go so that the flavours can all be experienced together. Shredded ginger is a must, as is the merest touch of vinegar- which is added to the ginger… & not the other way around.
But I digress…
I started drafting this post in the bar of the Mandarin Hotel, Hong Kong. Not that I was staying there- just that I had been shopping in the Central district and was considering what I would have for a late-ish dinner- fragrantly spiced curry on saffron scented rice or perfect steamed Shanghai Pork dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) from Crystal Jade next to the hotel. The Bar was calling to me. Dumplings won.
I was drinking a classic Martini (gin, dirty, with an olive) and stupidly in this beautiful bar in this beautiful city a tear rolled down my cheek. Not because it is flipping sad to be sitting alone in a bar in a wonderful city- I am used to travelling alone. And it isn’t martinis that make me cry- my husband makes them for me regularly. It isn’t even cocktails that do it- although other than in bars in New York when I absolutely had to order a Manhattan, I don’t make a habit of drinking cocktails in bars on my own. In fact the last time I sat in a hotel bar drinking a martini on my own I felt as low as it is possible to feel. That was 3 years ago in Brisbane- light years away from Hong Kong.
I had been offered what was (on paper) the dream job and was absolutely and irrationally hysterical as a result. I called a girlfriend who sympathised and patronised just the right amount. I had another martini, and then staggered upstairs to my hotel room where I gave way to the most dramatic of dramatic dramatics. I then rang someone who I shouldn’t have and spent the next hour being dramatically and uncontrollably hysterical. I was at rock bottom and Jupiter was on my mid heaven. I should have felt on top of the world.
After one too many stupid and way too personal arguments, I declared to no one in particular “that’s it… I’ve had enough. I can’t do this anymore. I need a new job!”
Jupiter, as we know, provides opportunities for expansion and growth if you look for them. So look I did- seek.com.au… and applied for the first role that a narrow portion of my skill sets met. Three interviews and three days later I was offered the role. It was at that point that I felt the handcuffs being locked around my wrists.
Twelve years earlier, the same thing happened. I was a Branch Manager for the bank I worked for. At just 28, not only was I extremely young, but also the only female in a very male dominated environment. I actually enjoyed the job, the challenge, the customers, the responsibility of that little branch and the people in it.
Changes were occurring- the Bank was looking to take a lot of responsibilities out of the branches to free the managers up for sales focused effort. (Pluto had just moved into Sagittarius and the emphasis was on expansion). I declared to no one in particular “the day that they take the credit responsibilities away from us is the day I look for another job.” They did, so I did. Before the ink was dry on the change memos I had a role in the new centre where all the credit functions were being centralised. This role lead to a National Operations job and eventually to some project management and process re-engineering experience. Jupiter had crossed my Midheaven.
If Jupiter crossing the Midheaven is so great for professional and personal expansion, why did the opportunities that came my way in 2007 scare me so completely? I had wound professional into personal and was feeling unappreciated, taken for granted and discarded- both personally & professionally. I thought I needed an escape route and one was presented to me. As with all things Jupiter, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the opportunity presented will be the right one. I asked for a new job & I got one- it didn’t necessarily follow that it would be the right one.
As frightened as I was, a very large part of me was feeling pretty chuffed and just a tad smug that I had landed something else so quickly. I felt that if I accepted the job, my talents would be appreciated far more than they currently were. It was this arrogance (and the fact that at that point I probably would have gone to anyone who said that they wanted me) which very nearly tempted me into accepting the offer that was dropped into my lap. But, as Robert Hand writes in his Planets in Transit, this sort of negative energy can “lead to your total downfall when Jupiter is out of this area of your chart. Metaphorically speaking, Jupiter can represent real growth or the growth of fat. Make sure that for you this is a period of real growth.”
When I looked beyond the raw emotion, I recognised that what was on offer was in actual fact a very narrow sort of growth and one that I would have to deal with after Jupiter had left the 10th. The day after my hysterical outburst in that hotel I caught another flight to Perth. Only from the distance and space provided by being out of phone range could I make the decision that I needed to make and see the opportunity clearly- particularly in view of where I wanted to be in 5 years time. I had just started studying astrology seriously and knew I wanted to write. The time involved in re-establishing myself would have effectively meant putting that dream aside forever. I said no. The money would have been nice though…
When Jupiter is in your 10th you will be busy, possibly busier than you have been in years. The temptation may be to accept every opportunity that is thrown your way. Expansion can be quick- sometimes too quick- not giving you time to think about the consequences. Sometimes under these circumstances we say yes without consideration and then deal with the fallout later down the track. When Jupiter is conjunct the Midheaven it is also forming challenging aspects to the 1st, 7th and 4th houses. What happens here in the 10th will have an impact on your relationships, your home life- the roots of your foundation- and your image of self.
I drafted this post the day Jupiter crossed my ascendant- the perfect time to be travelling for professional reasons. Also the perfect time to expand my physical body- not in a good way…hence the Dumplings!
If your Sun or Ascendant is in Gemini, Jupiter will be in your 10th house while he is in Pisces.