We have had another mass shooting here in the U.S., the worst in our country’s history. This comes after a month of devastating events. The hurricanes: Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The earthquakes in Mexico. A horrifying humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. It is an overwhelming amount of suffering to witness.
And all of this while we are under threat of being bombed by North Korea.
Some people shut down and pull away. They stop taking in any news at all. Others go full bore into a marathon of news-ingestion.
Even before the Las Vegas shooting, I’d been wrestling with the question of how much news I should allow myself to consume. I don’t watch hours of CNN at a time; we don’t have cable or a live TV signal (and I’m grateful for that). But I do check the online news sites and Twitter multiple times a day to find out what’s going on. I end up going down rabbit holes, hearing and seeing things I wish I hadn’t.
So I have been asking myself: How much news is too much?
My dilemma is this: even though I know that over-exposure to the news is toxic for me, I feel called to bear witness to the suffering of others. It is important to me not to put my head in the sand. I hold as a value the ideal of "being informed." But I can so easily cross the line into unhealthy territory. "Unhealthy" for me looks like this: It’s as if I’m under a spell, and I can’t look away. It becomes more compelling to watch the distress of others than to inhabit my own life. That is my barometer, when I know it is "too much."
I don’t think there’s a simple formula here, and for everyone the line may fall in a different place. But each of us will benefit from assessing where that line is. We might consider asking: “Why am I watching OR not watching this?” In order to stay emotionally and mentally healthy during the times ahead, we’ll need to be able to answer this question with honesty and clarity.
I suspect that these themes will be magnified over the next year as Jupiter moves through Scorpio (10/10/17 - 11/8/18). Jupiter magnifies what it touches. Scorpio, ruled by Pluto and Mars, is sign that connects us to our most intense emotions. Scorpio invites us toward introspection, and Jupiter’s time here will magnify the need to ask ourselves probing questions. For example, rather than avoiding something that disturbs us, we should be asking: “Why does that disturb me?” It is a good time to become intimate with the real roots of our fears. In doing so, we can move through perceived blocks to our wholeness and happiness. But first, we will have to slay our dragons.
As Jupiter moves through Scorpio, it makes an extended trine to Neptune in Pisces (from about December 2017 to August 2018, exact dates below*). This pattern can manifest as a tendency toward unhealthy escapism in the face of too much pain. We might over-medicate, binge-watch, or over-eat -- all of these very understandable human coping mechanisms. It's tricky, because some escapism is beneficial, even necessary. Reading a novel or watching a movie can help us to get some distance from the present during a difficult time. But we will need to continually assess our motives. We'll need to discern for ourselves: When does my escapism become unhealthy?
Again, how much is too much?
A higher potential of the Jupiter-Neptune trine is the ability to find spiritual connection (Neptune Pisces) through a willingness to confront our biggest fears (Jupiter Scorpio). Wherever Jupiter is, we are being invited to explore unknown territory. We're being asked to grow and expand to a new level. In its transit through Scorpio, we have an extra dose of confidence pushing us to talk about things we may have been previously too uncomfortable to even consider. In Jupiter's connection to Pisces, we could become more attuned to the presence of higher forces or develop a stronger connection to our own intuition. We could feel increasingly connected to others through an intentional practice of empathy.
Jupiter can bring improvement and abundance to the area of your chart where it is passing. With Scorpio energy involved, however, these good things come as a byproduct of facing challenging and/or previously repressed material.
Here are some questions for investigation during Jupiter in Scorpio and Jupiter-Neptune:
-What does healthy vs. unhealthy escapism look like for me?
-What are some truths I have been afraid to admit to myself?
-What is a healthy balance between empathy and self-focus for me?
*Exact dates for Jupiter-Neptune trine: 12/2/17, 5/25/18, 8/19/18