We all need to dip into Neptune’s waters of just being from time to time, as a measure to the time we spend doing. Losing all sense of time and space, for a bit, is a welcome and necessary reprieve for an overly busy world. Meditating, a day at the beach, a day of watching movies…even staring at the ceiling for hours can be therapeutic. We all need to dip into the timeless dimension, if only to remind our Self that we are an Eternal Soul.
Yet as with all archetypes, Neptune can be as much friend as foe. Neptune can instruct us in observing the hushed beauty of a flower, the silent reverie of mind, our connection to all things great and small. Unconscious Neptune can strand us in the middle of an ocean of emotion, rudderless, lost at sea, feeling victimised/martyred. We are not fated to experience only the difficult side of Neptune. Neptune’s invitation is for more conscious awareness, and to find a middle way.
Neptune is, at its core, a thirst for ecstasy, bliss, communion with Spirit. But even avid seekers can use spiritual strategies to avoid life. “Don’t bother me, I’m meditating!” screams the “evolved” Buddhist practitioner, to his family. Dark Neptune strikes when you’re not paying attention, or you’re focused on the wrong thing to the exclusion of the whole.
Dark Neptune lulls us into an inner lassitude about the practical and inner realities we’re neglecting: we forget to pay the phone bill again, we missed another AA meeting, we stop making plans, fall out of touch with cherished friends. Maybe we let go of a partners’ verbal abuse that we should be addressing because doing the work of relationship is new and scary, or we retreat from the world for a time, to heal, but decide to stay there and hide out. We follow the lure to an impossible romance, addicted to the chaos of our emotions. We get a mysterious sickness and enter a medical hall of mirrors, eventually allowing our emotional fear and uncertainty to control all aspects of our lives. We are consumed by a search for a miracle, answer or cure. Avoidance of reality, or over-focusing on one area of life to the exclusion of your whole life, all create the perfect Neptunian cocktail for stealing your life away. The possibilities are as numinous as Neptune itself, but dark Neptune all has avoidance and escapism at its core. Possessed by dark Neptune, we avoid life, and the problem-solving that reality requires of us to grow, evolve. Comfortably numb or emotionally at sea, we neglect to fully inhabit our own lives. We become a ghost; no one is home.
The bright side of Neptune can help us to let go, connect to a source bigger than our small self, our material world and its problems. When life gets to be too much, Neptune arrives with a movie and popcorn, a day off, good music (bright Neptune supports healthy escapism). When life hits us with a 2×4, Neptune impels us to pick up a spiritual book or talk to a friend who understands spiritual principles that are so hard to master, like “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “love knows no enemy.” Bright Neptune takes us by the hand and leads us to the meditation cushion, the nature walk, a church with a heavenly gospel choir. Bright Neptune asks us to make more open spaces in our life, to open our consciousness a little wider. Through experiences where our hands are tied, or through an impersonal experience of love and transcendence, when we need: forgiveness, self-acceptance, faith, redemption, relief, when we crave spiritual truths that resonate with our very core being, Neptune is nearby. Whereas dark Neptune seeks to obliterate the overwhelming feelings and pains of being a spiritual being in a physical body through escapism and avoidance, bright Neptune awakens us to the all-permeating transcendent Spirit, helping us to realise the true source behind our confusion and illusions: our separation from the Source. Bright Neptune teaches us to periodically surrender to Source, to trust in the natural processes of life.
The Middle Way
The reality of Neptune is: We will all eventually experience the periods of absolute uncertainty that Neptune brings. We will all go through stages (often years) of life where, no matter how hard we look for the elusive needle in the haystack, we cannot find it. Inexplicable feelings of loss and yearning, combined with feeling emotionally adrift or at sea in our self, we may mistake our confusion at “not having the answers” with being lost, weak, or ineffectual in life. For those of us experiencing a Neptune transit, it’s important to understand that our feelings of being lost and adrift are not a statement about our True Self, or one’s capacities as an individual. Neptune teaches us that that there’s much more that we don’t know than what we do…and sometimes we have to wait. As we wait, we learn to let go of our need to know and have solutions. We learn to stay in the present moment, and we find a middle way – one that’s less about swinging to extremes and more about trusting what this moment holds, then the next moment. Moment by moment, we learn that surrendering our need for miracles doesn’t mean giving up on our dream of finding them. It just clears the path for more peace and less confusion.
Neptune changes directions twice every year: it moves retrograde, then directs. When a planet stations (stops to change direction), it’s at its strongest. Wherever you are in your personal evolution, your relationship with Neptune will be under scrutiny, under a close microscope, at that time. As a client said to me just this morning, through her tears, “Jessica, I think I’ve been asleep for years.” Neptune station can bring us these potent moments of potent self-realisation and insight.
As Neptune stations, now is the time to ask your self: How am I honouring Neptune in my life?