On Overexpansion, collapse, and what we learn from it
Consider that Jupiter is intuitively oriented towards growth and greater possibilities, and is thus naturally oriented towards “more”, whereas the Aries archetype is instinctively driven towards the next experience, the next limit to push and in it’s own way is also oriented towards “more”. They are both fiery, go “get ’em” kind of archetypes.
Of all planet/sign combinations, I think Jupiter in Aries might be one of the more extreme examples of what might happen when one goes too far. I’m talking about not knowing when to stop, getting lost in a good sounding idea, not knowing how to slow down one’s momentum. This “going too far” always results in collapse. Jupiter in Aries can highlight exactly where we are difunctionally over-stimulated.
Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of fitness and health videos, and have found a little rivulet of body building culture. I have learned that most body builders, especially those who compete, are known to openly take steroids, testosterone, performance enhancing drugs and all kinds of things to help them gain more muscle mass. These people are huge! I was watching a video of one of a well known body builder and I couldn’t stop thinking of Jupiter in Aries. In particular because heavy use of all those drugs also has been known to have a devastating effect on the heart, liver and kidneys. Such health issues are apparently very common in the body building world.
So this is a common example of overdrive and then collapse. I think it’s incredibly easy to be attracted to the “more, bigger, better, faster, stronger” without really considering how sustainable it is.
Often, the overdoing it issue here would reflect a misplacement towards the quantity, size, and speed of some sense of purpose as an overcompensation for an internal sense of not being enough. We can live our entire lives pursuing big and lofty goals of expansion, and never really get honest with ourselves about what is really running the program.
This is why self-honesty is an important practice to cultivate. Self-honesty is what enables us to know that we are living in this moment, not expecting or believing that there will be some kind of future result in a future moment that will make us feel more sufficient in ourselves.
Amazingly, it’s incredibly easy to set ourselves in a certain direction. It’s sometimes not as easy to answer the straightforward question, “why are you going there?” What is it we truly want out of life? Can we feel a sense of inner truth in our movements, or are we in an anxious seeking or self-convincing state? Knowing the difference between the two can be tricky as I really think it’s incredibly easy to lie to ourselves.
Quantity driven vs driven by truth
Here’s a helpful differential between being quantity driven vs being inner truth driven. Being quantity driven is very attached to outcome and results. There’s a quality of anxiousness and insecurity relative to not getting there, not having enough, not being enough. Something needs to be proven, explained, justified; one’s convictions need to be constantly re-affirmed.
Being inner truth driven is to be open to the journey and unconcerned with any kind of arrival. There is a joy in the present moment of living according to one’s nature. And in this joy is a trust and gratitude for the perfect flow of the cosmos, unfolding just as needed.
I heard an interview with a famous recording engineer (I forgot his name) who said something that reminded me of this. To paraphrase, he said that being an artist means you are doing it for yourself, because you love it. You don’t care about results, you don’t care what others think. You don’t need to make money from it in order to want to do it, and in fact you would happily get a job to pay the bills so that you could free up more time to do it.
The feeling of following one’s inner sense of purpose is the feeling of freedom, and it’s undeniable. No quantity or flashiness can compensate for it.
Overdrive, Collapse and Renewal
There is always the possibility for redemption and it’s meaningful to note that after the collapse, there is also a great potential for insight, integration and renewal. The challenge here would be to use the Jupiter orientation towards growth as a way to gain some insight into what just happened, and then to start again with more wisdom.
I’d like to present this process in 3 general phases:
Phase 1: Quick, flashy, attractive, exciting, big flash of fire. Confidence and drive. Impulsive.
Phase 2: Way too much too quickly, flame burns out, big collapse. Loss of perspective and confidence. Exhaustion.
phase 3: Return of perspective, self-honesty, willingness to start over again. Renewal.
And since Aries is quick, this can all happen quickly! Quick to go too far, quick to collapse, quick to learn from it, get up, and start again. The speed of failure and subsequent learning really depends on the extent to which there is a desire to learn and get honest with oneself.
If we are open to it, this can truly be a time of quick and essential learning experiences that shape our greater insight and understanding of our way in life. And if we go too far, it’s ok. The best we can do is learn from it, make necessary corrections, and start again.
A note on today’s solstice
This solstice is sharing a square with Jupiter in Aries. Combined, it’s an incredibly clear energy for new beginnings, fresh starts, new insights and directions. There’s no doubt something new is starting and that we are called to trust in ourselves. And, remember that the square from Aries to Capricorn teaches us to cultivate actions in life with long term vision. Is this taking me where I want to go? If not, then do I really want it? What else can I do with this energy? Where is my own inner being nudging me forward right now?
What if, instead of big (and likely unattainable) goals that start off at 100 and quickly go to 0, we instead make self-knowledge our top priority? What is it we really want to achieve and how can we get there starting with sincere and authentic action that we can get behind? What do we actually know that doesn’t require any kind of convincing or philosophical maintenance? Sometimes, just admitting and revealing to ourselves our true motivations will create the space to find out what we truly want.
May we walk the path with joy, humor, wisdom, courage and sincerity with ourselves.