“If you cannot tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.” -Virginia Woolf

I’m not one to use another’s tragedy to prove astrology’s accuracy. That strikes me as disingenuous and gimmicky, kind of like people who chase tornados and post them to their YouTube channel. However, facing the potential of one’s death is a Scorpio phenomenon itself, and being on the hairy edge of death has a thrill of aliveness in it, as any Scorpio knows. And sometimes the collective symbols offer themselves up, like dreams straight from the astrological field -as the wildfires of Northern California did, to announce the entry, in wildly devastating accuracy, of Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio.

The symbolism of fire is profoundly Scorpio. Fire dramatically and greedily clears the decks, guaranteeing life cannot go on as it was. All is reduced to ash, nothing can be salvaged of the former life. What is the purpose of fire? Fire purifies. In cooking, it kills bacteria. It transforms, so hard to digest enzymes become digestible. Fire takes one form, renders it dead, so it can transform into something else. With wildfires, it’s no different. Fire is a core element of alchemy, and alchemy is about a substance changing from one form to another. Life itself, with its constant need for evolution, is alchemy.

I have a high school girlfriend whose home, years ago, was burnt to the ground courtesy of New Mexico wildfires. Her husband and 3 kids had to live in a one bedroom apartment for years. They lost everything they owned, save little scraps of their former lives– like an old favorite album covered in charred burns, which they posted on Facebook not too long ago as a nostalgic, sad reminder of what was lost. They had to start over, entirely, a clean break from the past. There was no going back to what was. Her life and that of her family’s were permanently changed from one form to another.

Here’s a question you might want to ask your self: What major transformation, death/rebirth, occurred in your life the last time Jupiter transited Scorpio, 12 years ago? 12 years ago I moved in with my husband and began merging my life with a whole new family. Suddenly I had resources, and a new identity (Jupiter transited my first and second houses): I became a wife, now owned a house, a second income and stepchildren. It was an exciting time of gain and expansion but I also remember mourning what I gave up: a small hermitage in the hills, that I loved (which, ironically, was totally demolished shortly after I vacated it), and my single girl identity.

This is one facet of we’re looking at symbolically, with Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio- the potential for radical death and rebirth in an area of our life. Whether spooked or elated by this thought, consider this: In order to move into something radically new (and I am using the word radical in the original sense of the word, radical meaning, more true to the roots and origin of who we are) something else must die to make way for that. Perhaps the more dis-resonant, un- true to our root self, and untenable our situation has become, the bigger the death, loss, transformation. There’s also plenty of room for Fate, here, that big unknowable force that changes lives in one clean sweep.

Uncovering Primal Fears

An electional chart of Jupiter’s entry into Scorpio features Scorpio’s traditional ruler, Mars, in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius, and Pluto square Sun and Mercury (trine Mars). To me, this says Jupiter in Scorpio isn’t messing around. There’s a tremendous amount of energy here, great potential for destruction and rebirth, as we saw with the wildfire. There’s messages about power and disempowerment (Sun square Pluto), precision and discernment (Mars in Virgo) around our belief structures (Saturn in Sag) and mental attitudes (Mercury square Pluto). I believe this rests mostly in our attitudes and approach to how we handle the emotional energies of crisis and change.

While Scorpio also rules: shared resources, money, sexuality, and our lives can benefit in these areas, too, due to the chart, I’m going to focus on this aspect.

Scorpio is a water sign charging the fiery, intense, edgy realm of emotions. How do you handle your emotional energies, when confronted by crisis and transformation? One way to gage this is by how you are coping (or not) with collective events. It’s easy to go over to doom in gloom. And yet, disease, famine, war… there have been way more chaotic times in history than ours. This is the human experience, a neutral fact. Or is it? Collectively, our emotions are hair trigger charged right now; Jupiter potentially offers the light of understanding to our emotional lives, our unconscious conditioned responses, so we can get more perspective on our selves.

Scorpio rules the unconscious, invisible psychic stuff, energies you can’t see. With Scorpio, all of our personal unconscious conditioning -our fears of death, survival fears, deeply rooted Ego conditioning from our childhood- are at play.

In psychology, an emotional reaction is considered a “trigger” when it elicits a negative response in our selves, ie, that person’s anger triggered me. When someone triggers us it often means we have a hook –something perhaps ancient and unresolved that requires more of our awareness to release. We can get triggered by collective events, too. These can trigger trauma wounds, or childhood stuff. After all, childhood is all about doing what we need to survive, and nothing touches off our primal fears like crisis and unknowable change.

I have a client who was long overdue for a move from her home state. Yet she resisted doing anything about that. Then a really dramatic event manifested that caused her to move, about which she felt victimized and overpowered by — similar to the way she felt about her childhood abuser. Coincidence or synchronicity?

Jupiter’s nature is to expand, make our life better (which is why we tend to get restless under a Jupiter transit — we want more, better, bigger). Are we blocking our own growth and expansion because of “stuff” we haven’t yet faced? When a crisis occurs, signaling a sloughing off, a potential for a deeper connection to truth, do we regress back to an old familiar survival state – or find the courage to fearlessly embrace the unknowns involved with change?

A More Empowered Response to Crisis

Jupiter in Scorpio puts us in touch with primal, often hidden, emotional energies in our selves. How we resist, or flow with, change and transformation, death and rebirth. Our attitude to long-waited changes – do we dig in with our heels, or dig in? Our emotional responses stand to be examined, our motives more deeply looked at, investigated for their truth.

For instance, is fear ever a legitimate response to crisis? Is there any truth at all to fear? In my experience, fear is an Ego feeling out of control. In times of true crisis, there’s no time for fear, only action. It’s only thinking about it afterwards or anticipating it, that we feel fear. Also, one of the qualities of being in the presence of truth is its accompanying energy of fearlessness.

Are fear, gloom and doom, attempting to control, empowered responses?

As the world heats up literally and figuratively, it’s time to learn how to better handle our emotional energies during times of crisis and change. In my experience, most of our emotional responses to crisis is not usually about the event, but another one. This applies to collective events, where I consistently witness people going into fear and “concern” spirals for days on end. Ditto for building stories about “dark times”.

I expect this will make me unpopular, but here goes: If you’re having an emotion about a catastrophe that lasts longer than a few minutes, and you’re not bringing food and supplies, or in it, it’s probably about something else. Either conditioning you’ve inherited from the collective, like a Pavlovian response that says “okay, when this type of event happens we get sad/fearful/despairing/bitter. Ok, now go!,” or it’s a deeper wound of your own being triggered, or you’re not grounded and centered in your own energy. If it’s not happening to you, it’s not personal. It is what is. Don’t generate more Ego energy for the collective by dwelling in disaster. Either find a way to help, pitch in if that’s your thing, or connect with your light. Either benefit all.

For the Empaths who feel everything, I love what Martha Beck says. When she witnesses someone going through something tough, to avoid taking it on, in a nutshell she says, ‘This is their journey. I’ll have my time to go through xyz, but now is not my time. Everyone gets their time.’ Don’t worry, you’ll have your time to feel your own personal crisis or tragedy. Won’t you want people who are strong in their light around? Joining in with another’s or the world’s misery helps no one. It only creates more fear and misery. If you’re not baking someone a cake, better to ground, root and center. Take a walk in nature. Listen to uplifting music. Focus on your furthering your calling.

The fact is: the more focus we place on external events, feeding them with fearful thoughts and “concern”, the more distracted we become from our internal reality, where, with awareness, we can liberate our self -which benefits everyone. Once we stop the fear and warring within our selves we are able to be inspired and take action from a place of grace, not from absorbing external fear energies or being mired in our own wounding.

When we run on old fear conditioning- that it’s a dangerous, scary world; we’re ill-equipped for survival; we’re weak and can’t change; other people are doing this horrible thing to us- we are not only denying our light so weakening our selves, but we are not being honest. We are powerful. We are eternal. We are in charge of our experience. When we own our light it benefits everyone.

And that’s what Jupiter is about, isn’t it? Possibility, expansion, liberation through knowledge and higher understanding. Scorpio/Pluto is about empowerment or victimhood. Together, Jupiter + Scorpio= changing our perspective so that we can feel emotionally empowered in any situation.

Jupiter Wants Your Honesty

This may take some honesty, right? You betcha. We can only be as powerful and strong as we are honest with our selves. I love the Virginia Woolf quote about being the importance of telling the truth with our selves, so that we can clearly see others. Scorpio is the sign of deep intimacy and you certainly can’t achieve that with another if you aren’t being truthful with you. Honesty from the deeps will always surprise and delight in delicious ways- that’s Jupiter, too. Jupiter in Scorpio loves exposing a long buried secret or lie because doing so always brings the light of liberation, truth, understanding.

As my Scorpio energy teacher said to me, “Just one truth can clear away months, years, decades of lies. That’s the power of the truth.”

It only takes one light to chase away the dark.

But this is Jupiter, right? Good, sweet, benefic, gift granting Jupiter.  I read one astrologer say, “I’m excited about Jupiter entering Scorpio!”(even for me, a compatible emotional water sign who gets Scorpio, it struck me as a bit naive for Pluto in Capricorn times). Like homeopathy or a vaccination that contains a bit of the poison or disease therein, Jupiter’s gifts may have a sting to them; we may face a loss to claim a gain. We may have to go into shadow material, expose something dark to claim our light. We may have to tell hard truths to buy freedom. Telling the truth, about our self or another, always feels temporarily uncomfortable to the Ego, but the payoff for doing so is incredible.

It’s like dancing with fire. Sometimes it’s just hot, other times it burns. But when we dance with fire, we feel more alive than we’ve ever felt.

Some of us are built for exactly this kind of work –and that’s something to get excited about (!!) For those ready to: swim in the deeper end of the ocean, get wet in their emotions, explore their interior nooks and crannies with more intimacy and honesty than ever before, it will be an extremely liberating and fulfilling time. For those who don’t want to face their unconscious programming or shadow, who resist imminent change, refuse to acknowledge a hard truth, who have a problematic relationship to the world of emotions, it will be an extremely liberating and fulfilling time (perhaps just a bit more messy). Ready or not, we can expect the kind of thrills and chills that remind us that while we won’t live forever, we’re alive today, right now.

Are you ready to dance with fire?