Neptune has just touched down on the waters of our collective unconscious in the sign of Pisces. That meeting place on the surface, however, is full of turbulent weather and our collective landing is not over as of yet. Imagine coming in for a touch down in a two-seater Cessna plane somewhere in the Southeast United States during a huge thunderstorm. Hands steady on the controls, here, as a sudden downdraft can catch our wings and slam us into the tarmac. With the planets in their current configuration, this possibility is very real.
I offer this fractal image as a focal point for meditation on the higher spiritual purpose of our current situation. Turbulent above, luminescent and directed below. The transition is tricky. The structures of the world, all the way down to our tectonic plates, are changing. This change will continue and April has the potential for serious disturbance on the physical plane. If we keep our eye internally directed, as the Hermit in deep solitude and reflection, we will be all right. If we thrash about in the flotsam and jetsam of these times we do have every chance of successfully drowning ourselves.
Even as I write this, exactly as Neptune has entered 0° of Pisces (7:51am CMT), we must turn our attention to Aries, where our Sun and five other planets are in congregation at this time. Mars and Uranus are conjunct (at 1° Aries) and this combination of aggressive energetic (Mars in its home sign) and the lightning-bolt enlightening powers of Uranus in the same fire sign have the potential for explosive events. As these two planets are in the early aspects of Aries, they are combining to set the tone for the Sun’s transit through Aries. Next in the Aries sweep are the Sun and Jupiter conjunct (14° and 15° respectively). Jupiter, as we know, is the great benefic that can bring enormous amounts of good fortune. However, it also has a tendency, when out of balance, to go overboard – extending its energies too far and dissipating into a confused and unfocussed state. Standing with the Sun at this moment in Aries, its potential for the latter is extremely high. The boost on this situation comes from Saturn in Libra(13°) in opposition to Sun/Jupiter conjunction and we have a stage set for high drama. The push/pull on the rope between discipline and re-structuring of relationships with clear rules of conduct (Saturn/Libra) and the desire for ego rebelliousness during the rites of Spring (Jupiter/Sun/Aries with Uranus and Mars setting the pace), is a match made for a boxing ring.
Now, add to this Mercury and the Moon conjunct late Aries (23° and 25° respectively) and we have the makings for either deeply core emotional (Moon) re-structuring of our personal lives through authentic communication (Mercury) or, possibly, serious argument and violence acted out by the childish impulses (Aries) bent on turning over the chessboard and scattering the pieces all over the floor. Mercury is retrograde until April 23, ensuring communication disruptions through the end of the Sun’s transit through Aries. Given its placement amidst a stellium of volatile planets, I might caution silent review and reflection of matters of the heart during this time if preservation of relationship is the goal. On an international level, we can be sure of the same level of adolescent male bravado and manipulation by those that govern while global relationships heat up. This is less a matter of celestial prediction (though those signifiers are there), than it is of objective observation and the realization that the boys at the wheel have every intention of continuing in their old behaviors, despite all evidence that what they have done thus far is not only ineffective, but most certainly harmful and dangerous to the larger welfare. Someone needs to step in and take the keys away.
Add in to this mix Pluto in Capricorn (7°) exerting its squaring influence on the Aries stellium as well as on Saturn in Libra in a t-square and we have the potential for tearing open the curtain of secrets and lies propagated not just by governments and world relationships (Saturn in Libra), but in our own lives as well. This rending is necessary to our development as a species on this planet. HOW we each go about doing that uncovering is the key.
Imagine yourself an actor on a stage with an object covered in a large sheet. Choice is not only the core caveat of the actor, but of the individual life as well. How will you remove the cloth to reveal what is underneath? Every play has its own set of dynamics that form the foundation within which the actors function with integrity to their character when interacting on that stage. At a personal level, imagine you are the director sitting in the audience seats directing this play, which you have analyzed and know well (hopefully). Creative choice in moving the drama forward utilizing strategic interventions by each of the characters is yours to make. This is where we can transcend the mundane, mindless manner in which we unconsciously approach our lives and enter into observation of where each of our different parts (characters in a play or planets in a chart) are carrying out their functions. This is the heart of jungian analysis and reflects the ability of the individual to examine each and every one of their facets, including the dark, hidden and unspeakable aspects (Pluto) and to integrate them into a coherent whole.
It is important to understand we are in the world, but we have the choice of whether we are of the world. Yes, we do need to function within a framework of collectively accepted tenets. However, the tenets within which we have functioned are in need of change. Deep and broad change. Deconstruction is a necessary phase in the Rebirthing process we are all undergoing together. This season is quite perfect for the metaphorical death and resurrection we each need to make at this time. We hold within ourselves the power to create our Own World Order based on spiritual and practical guidelines of respect, integrity and mutual benefit. This is the first and only place to start – within. We can see ourselves as puppets in someone else’s idea of Order, or we can exercise the divine power to define our own order of being based on very simple tenets for relationship (versus accumulation of wealth). This is a place which stands outside of the context of our current religious, economic, social and political institutions which, in my opinion, have served only to terrorize, destroy and control both this planet and its people. It is my hope we may see humanity rise to the occasion of realizing our social responsibilities to each other and the planet and to begin to direct our actions solely from that foundational philosophy.
This is a time to reach deep within and undo the damage we have caused ourselves through our passive or active participation in a current schema bent on acting out a collective death wish to its final conclusion. That should terrorize all of us equally. It is a time to own our own sociopathy, our own disease, our own secrets and lies. Out of this place we may begin to find the shape of the world we wish to create, just as the taoist holds her/his chi ball of energy and moves it consciously within the world for the benefit of herself personally and in relationship to the larger planetary community. It can be done with discernment and skill, but only by going through the events of our lives and continuously re-directing ourselves to our Center. Training and discipline are what this re-direction requires, and Saturn in Libra is well situated to aid us in this practice. There are no shortcuts in the process and we must die to the parts of ourselves that do not support the desire for life.
The way through is through Neptune and her descent into the watery world of emotion, intuition and our right brain capacities for dreaming, visioning and wisdom found in our real, bodily connections to mother earth. Neptune is following Chiron (see my article on Chiron Descending for a full description of this pairing) into the ocean. The way forward is into the abyss and, because the wounded healer has preceded us into those piscean depths, we will most assuredly be facing our deep, dark wounded and secret selves in our explorations. Those denied parts will loom out of the darkness like specters haunting a long-sunken ship. Those who have engaged in honest self-examination will be that much more prepared to benefit from the depths to which we are being asked to go and will find it an adventure. Those that cling to left brain skills and the material detritus of our culture will have difficulty with the process.
Everyone wants to be in the lifeboats, but there simply are not enough to go around (the uncontrolled overpopulation we have engaged in has taken care of that option). Many people are going to die, whether physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. Rebirth can only come after death – and there is no way to rationalize our way out of that one.
Adaptability is key and swimming lessons are necessary here. We have, indeed, polluted the very waters we are entering. They are now full of contaminants and toxins and we have made them poisonous by our own hands. There is a responsibility we will have to take in meeting the consequences of those prior actions and every one of us has some part of the oil slick on our hands. It is smelly and rank and we can no longer ask others to do our dirty work for us, nor slap down some cash for “enlightenment” workshops and think we’ve paid our overdue bill.
This is deep sea diving at its most essential. Such a descent is one faced alone, just as we must all face physical death alone. Yes, togetherness and companionship through hard times is a must. Ultimately, however, no one crosses the river styx in the company of another. Our tests are not how we measure up in someone else’s system of order or opinion or good graces. It is how we measure up to our own and our individual concept of a divine intelligence that works through us, though not necessarily always for us.
Christians talk of answering for our sins at the pearly gates, of meeting our maker at some point. The test of spiritual maturity here is in posing those questions to ourselves as aware, embodied human beings and answering them in the mirror with a steady gaze. Right now, right here. Not in some far off future toward which we have, up until this point, kicked our cans of dirty business. This is the stuff and material, the courage, grace and humility, we can uncover within ourselves if we are willing to jump off the dinghy and take the plunge into, yes, the very mud hole we made. We can, indeed, make sacred again what we have once profaned. And those waters may well purify us yet again, if we come to it with fortitude and integrity.
Neptune is doing this with or without us. Our choice is whether we follow her wisdom teachings or not.
In the meantime, the inner and outer planet alignments are such that caution, reflection and equanimity be exercised as we descend out of the clouds.
As always, how these dynamics play out in our own individual lives within a collective whole is dependent upon the placement of the individual’s planets in his/her natal chart and such dynamics are best understood through consultation with a counseling astrologer. What is evident here is the general terrain we are all traveling together at the moment.
Note: all the fractal art images in this article come from mr-nerb.deviantart.com