At first glance, we might think that happiness and joy are the same thing. Both make us feel good, both are qualities that we seek. In fact, embedded in the United States Constitution is the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness.
In reality, though, I would argue that the two are quite different both in quality and in their effect on our human lives. Happiness is a feeling, an emotion – a sense of pleasure and contentment. Happiness comes to us when we feel that life is worth living; that the circumstances in our lives have manifested in a way to generate a feeling that life is good. The astrological correlation for this sensation is Jupiter – the Greater Benefic, the planet that helps to activate these good feelings of abundance and confidence and which often brings about actual good luck and good fortune. Venus, the Lesser Benefic, is also involved in good feelings in its role as the seeker of pleasure, love and beauty.
Though a dictionary might say that joy is a synonym for happiness, they have a different quality. Where happiness is based upon life circumstances and events that are good rather than bad, joy is an inner experience that springs from the heart and the soul. Happiness comes and goes depending on our circumstance; joy arises from the soul when we feel completely aligned in our sense of Self.
Joy is defined in dictionaries as being synonymous with exultation, jubilation, exhilaration, elation, euphoria, bliss, rapture – sensations that activate a higher perspective than mere happiness and require a turning away from attachment to the things that come and go. To me, this is represented by the full and complete activation […]