I haven’t yet seen the film Avatar so I can’t comment personally, but evidently some fans are reacting with depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film:

James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

“I wasn’t depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ,” Baghdassarian said. “But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.” …

“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.’ “

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So is it the film Avatar that is causing this depression and despair at the comparison between the idealized Avatar world and our own dysfunctional planet?  Or is it the intense planetary cycles that are occurring right now that are creating these moods and experiences, resulting in a longing for an experience of something more liberating and magical?

As I wrote last October, the conjunction of Chiron (wounding and healing) to Neptune (yearning for spiritual connection) in the sign of Aquarius (idealism and a desire for social justice and revolution) has been inspiring deep experiences of old grief to erupt into our conscious mind where they can be resolved and released.  Chiron and Neptune are nearing their exact conjunction for the first time since last summer.  With Chiron in Aquarius, the experience of wounding that Chiron reveals has its origin in the disappointment of our ideals and our yearnings for the perfect world – the Age of Aquarius of myth and legend.  The addition of Neptune adds a layer of delusion and magic as well as a powerful awareness of where we are disconnected from our souls.

We also have the second phase of the square of Saturn (depression and isolation) to Pluto (death and transformation) to contend with now, and the combination of these two planetary combinations can be quite intense, whether you see the film Avatar or not.

One poster in an Avatar forum wrote this:  “When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”  This quote is so Saturn/Pluto – the world has lost its meaning and we are challenged to keep going and to find new meaning in our lives.

The purpose of these planetary cycles is not to make us miserable but to cause us to go deeper.  Life may have lost its meaning for us, but that’s because we are being urged to seek beyond the superficial; beyond the mundane and ordinary.  We don’t need to go to Pandora for this experience – the magic lies within.

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