Saturn square Neptune

The 270° square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces (both currently retrograde) has been in play since late 2015. As one of the dominant astrological themes of 2016 it deserves its own post.

Saturn is the wise elder of our solar system ~ paternal pragmatic mature responsible ~ he brings a dose of reality to whatsoever he contacts, setting boundaries, limits and slowing things down. It can be quite abrupt and even depressing as we come to terms with the Saturnian facts.

Neptune is the mystic ~ dreamy spiritual elusive transcendental ~ it’s subtle vibration often goes unnoticed as we are so busy with our “real world” concerns. But without Neptune life is lacking. We humans are connected to our spirit source, and something in us knows it = Neptune

When these two vastly different planetary influences meet this way, the energy is palpable. The square aspect brings friction and agitation regardless of the players involved. In this case the two signs involved are mutable (adaptable and comfortable with change), but Sagittarius is Yang fire and Pisces is Yin water. Sag wants freedom to explore understand expand and philosophise, while Pisces yearns to return to oneness, connecting with something larger than itself.

The distinctions are important, providing balance when the contact is made. Neptune knows no bounds ~ it can be chaotic lawless and anarchic. By contrast, Saturn is boundaries ~ limiting and restrained. Saturn’s realism and structure will temper Neptune’s fantastical visions and daydreams, helping us to bring them closer to manifestation. Saturn reminds us of the need to work ~ show up and make real tangible effort in pursuit of the heights that Neptune inspires.

Aspects are always seeking integration ~ as two planets come into contact we on Earth experience conflicting yearnings and can make effort to assimilate these in creative ways. Can we amalgamate chaos with order?

Inner work and spiritual practice are meaningful ways that we can make use of this moving square. Neptune represents spirituality and the unconscious, while Saturn symbolises work and practice ~ walking our talk.

Where we are unable or unwilling to consciously assimilate these energies we might find ourselves waking with a hangover, perhaps in both the metaphorical and the all-too-real-world head-thumping sense. As we mindlessly ramble on down Neptune’s slippery and treacherous low-road, allowing ourselves to be tempted time and again by the urge to temporarily escape reality, this year’s astroscape points to the folly of persistently choosing this well-worn path, strewn with lost shoes (glass slippers?), beer bottles, littered ciggie butts and polaroids of long-forgotten moments once considered unforgettable.

I wish not to be a killjoy. A well-lived and happy life must surely be filled with joy, laughter, good friends, and be punctuated with celebratory indulgence. But we cannot fool ourselves forever that such indulgences are necessary on the first Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday et al of each week, can we? And how much joy do we really find in these chemical-fuelled moments? Do the inevitable consequences feel disproportionate to the pleasures we sought the night before? How long can we claim debaucherous shenanigans to be an immersion in illuminating new experiences?

Twenty-sixteen poses these uncomfortable questions.

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Can we allow the well-lit clearly sign-posted boundaries of Saturn to guide our return to more authentic and transcendent Neptunian destinies?

Saturn in Sagittarius implores us to seek our own truth. For most of us, that truth cannot be found at the bottom of a whiskey bottle, or in the smokey blur of stoner-dom, or in the disturbingly repetitious thoughts of a meth habit. The truth is that we use drugs to change the ways think feel and behave.  But frequent drug use creates many more problems than it can ever solve.

To every thing there is a season. I am not arguing for nanny-state laws of prohibition, or self-imposed blanket bans that lead us away from whole-hearted living. We are human beings, blessed with conscious minds with which we are able to make discerning choices. There are certainly moments in life where a given substance can enhance an experience. But the key is to make decisions guided by an inner compass oriented toward our highest good. To weigh our options mindfully, then accept the consequences.

Just as Saturn aims to balance Neptune, Neptune seeks to inspire the stoic straight-laced Saturn ~ urging us to find commonality with our fellows, to develop compassion, to go with the flow and enjoy the moments in life that are all so fleeting.  Neptune reminds us to nourish the part of us that knows we are connected to something greater than ourselves. Inviting us inwards, to the silent still portal of divine experience. Measures of Saturnian success and status have no place here.

I have noticed that sometimes, among communities of spiritual people egos run rampant in ways that eclipse more traditional egoic arenas, such as perhaps the business world, medicine or show biz. It seems that the more time one spends devoted to practices intended to evolve consciousness but that are depleted in their value by their use as a tool of ego enhancement, the more points one is awarded in some spiritualist prizefight. To maintain an appearance of detachment in the face of life’s most challenging emotional upheavals is valued above authenticity and vulnerability. This feels to me to be another misled manifestation of the Saturn Neptune square. The application of Saturn’s ego boundaries to Neptune’s realm of mystery.

Saturn always demands integrity. Neptune inspires communion with the divine. No one can know the inner life of another. Despite low-road Saturn in Sagittarius’ insistent sermonising, God is not some abstract dogmatic conceptual doctrine found exclusively within the walls of a cathedral, ashram, chapel, synagogue or mosque. God is alive, dynamic, evolving, omnipresent, experiential, infinite love, found in the hearts of the incarcerated and indoctrinated alike, in badly lit shopping malls and magnificent sweeping landscapes…

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View from atop Sacre Coeur, Montmartre

In everyone

and everything

every atom of this expanding universe

Saturn+Neptune ~ one without the other and we are lost, either in the grey board room of conformity, or the technicolour haze of delusion

Capricorn Full Moon

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Shot Tower, in the rain. Taroona, near Hobart, Tasmania

The Full Moon in Capricorn occurs at 6.57am (AWST) on Wednesday the 20th of July. Capricorn the Sea~Goat symbolises responsibility, duty, maturity, discipline, wisdom and limitations. A cardinal earth sign, Capricorn initiates efforts towards the creation of material security.

At the opposing end of this axis is Cancer ~ the archetypal Mother; Capricorn is the archetypal Father ~ paternal reliable consistent firm sometimes a little rigid but seeking to guide us towards success status stability. Capricorn’s orderly approach supports us in the establishment of solid foundations upon which we may build a future that aligns with our high ideals.

The planetary ruler of this Capricorn lunation is Saturn, which remains in square aspect to Neptune, the Lunar Nodes and Jupiter. As we aspire and work towards our dreams, or process moments~times~events passed, Saturn patiently, persistently reminds us of our boundaries. Regardless of our attitude towards them, we must work within these limits. And for so long as we shirk our responsibilities we will not get far. Saturn insists upon integrity and accountability.

As this Full Moon light is reflected upon us all we find illuminated the duties we had overlooked. Are we stubbornly resisting lessons that implore us to bow in humility? Are we getting in our own way? On closer inspection can we accept more personal responsibility for the roles we play in life’s challenges and dysfunction?

In so doing, we are empowered, as we can truly change none other than ourselves. And as we recognise ways in which we have contributed to our own defeats, we find ways that we can do-over, more effective than before.

Sometimes life slows us down, and we feel stifled and frustrated, wondering whether we’ve chosen the wrong path or kidded ourselves in some way. The intensity of the Mars retrograde (coincident with five other planets in their retrograde phases also ~ AKA retrograde season) has left many of us feeling defeated and doubtful but as Mars’ direct motion picks up speed this Full Moon will assist us to see things that were invisible before this slowing down phase.

The delays that appeared to be mere inconvenient setbacks and impediments later prove to serve us well. When we take what we’ve learned in reflection we improve our attitude and our perspective is renewed, with more wisdom and confidence we now go forth.

This Full Moon also aspects Uranus the Awakener. Known for its disruptive and unpredictable influence (so different to Saturn), we can expect the unexpected. Uranus in turn aspects Mars in an uncomfortable but potentially rewarding interaction. For best results, we might channel this volatility into movement and creativity, lest we allow the energy to manifest unconsciously and impel us into circumstances less positive.

Life rarely unfolds as we expect it to, but always leads us to where we can, if we so choose, benefit in ways we could not have foreseen.

“Instead of what our imagination makes us suppose and which we worthless try to discover, life gives us something that we could hardly imagine” Marcel Proust.

the ocean covered with whitecaps…

Today, wild weather transformed the ocean here into a washing machine of turbulence… white caps atop heaving mountains of water that churned and seethed from beyond the horizon to the shore where they exploded upon the exposed rocks where sand had been mere hours earlier. The synchronicity was irresistible for me, I had to write some thoughts about the Sabian Symbol for tomorrow’s Full Moon… the ocean covered with whitecaps.

We ventured out into the elements around midday, with our small children in tow. They braved the blustery winds with their faces buried in our necks as we revelled in the roughness, so restorative. The magical and violent caress of bizillions of oceanic negative ions, invigorating our beingness’.

According to Diana E. Roche (1998), the Sabian Symbol for 2° Sagittarius is interpreted thusly:

“This symbol speaks to the bountiful response of the universe… giving him whatever he needs in life. The image of the ocean covered with whitecaps captures the idea of spirit-stirred consciousness. The emphasis in this symbol is on the necessity for channelling or directing the energy of this restlessness toward the accomplishment of worthwhile goals. The insight to be gained here is that the individual flourishes and becomes successful as he is inspired from within himself to fulfil his own higher potential” (p.276).

Relinquishing control of our lives can be a conscious decision involving  processes (reflection~receptivity~acceptance~surrender) that nourish our inner and outer lives. Many of us however, have unknowingly abdicated our freedom by following blindly in the footsteps of the masses: cogs in a machine, rats in a race, bricks in a wall, cannon fodder, consumers handing over fistfuls of money to indulge our egoic perceptions of success.

There is nothing inherently wrong with living in the world as we know it,  paying our dues and contributing to society, taking a steady job, getting a mortgage, towing the line. We do what we must. These boundaries are very Saturnian in nature and we do well to accept reality and the limitations that inevitably exist at various times and in certain circumstances.

BUT

…life is truly a gift, the most precious gift. We owe it to ourselves and to our creator to honour and revere it,

in thought word & deed

Somewhere inside each of us is a dream ~ a daimon ~ that knows our purpose and destiny. The Jupiterian gift of faith can serve us in pursuit of this deep inner knowing. We do not (necessarily) need to abandon all the spoils of modern living that we have come to rely upon, or enjoy. If need be, we might find ways to nourish our aspirations in small ways ~ allowing providence to empower our self-actualisation. We cannot abandon our Selves to the lies we are fed by the powers that be.

Life is short, and our mortality magnifies the majesty. And when we are old and grey, or nearing our end in whatever form that may come, we are surely more likely to regret the things we did not do, than those we did.

make like N.W.A and express yourself

 

Roche, D.E. (1998) The Sabian Symbols: a screen of prophecy. Astrology Classics; Maryland.

Choose love

The atrocity in Brussels yesterday occurred under interesting planetary stimulus. All energy requires a channel through which to flow; when we allow energy to become destructive instead of creative bad things happen. As human beings we are blessed with the freedom to choose, and as unique contributors to the whole we have an opportunity in each moment to take the high road, thus evolving the collective consciousness. Whether it be in thought or action, we are creating reality, so let’s aim high and choose love.

As the Libra Full Moon looms, the energy continues to build. Of particular note is the square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius. These two players are facing off in a battle of belief systems. Where this energy remains conscious, we are supported in our own personal and collective rethink on philosophies to live by. We can access Virgoan critique, and Saturn’s wise pragmatism = change is possible. But when we allow the arrogance of low-road Jupiter and the fundamentalism of low-road Sagittarius to hijack these higher intentions, judgemental attitudes prevail. Add to this the crisis inherent in the Virgo archetype and the duty-bound dogma of low-road Saturn and there is potential for things to get messy.

Especially when Mars is in on it. High-road Mars in Sagittarius is the ultimate spiritual warrior, exercising restraint while fighting the good fight; advocating for freedom and our collective highest good. But when the low-road God of War saddles up his high horse there are no holds barred. The righteous indignation is palpable, polarising and on some level, justified.

Herein lies the danger: we become engaged with this (or any of the many other) hideous event and we get mad. We feel angry that this can happen. We confabulate and incite one another in work lunch-room discussions. With the headlines snaking across television screens worldwide, the fear-fuelled retelling of the tragedy is relentless. Personal accounts of victims’ pain and suffering cause us to become emotionally embroiled and our anxiety inevitably builds. With thoughts of a terror attack on home soil we feel impelled to blame and point our finger, and defend ourselves with vitriolic racism and more bombs. Us versus them.

Banksy

Adding to the cosmic energy mix at play, despite their separating status, revolutionary Uranus and transformational Pluto continue to square each other. This long-haul aspect is one that effects serious change: its slow speed coupled with the planetary combination (Uranus = awakening via trauma and Pluto = profound paradoxical truth) have allowed it to reshape our individual and collective consciousness in recent years. It has been in effect since 2012 and while most astrologers seem to have moved onto more contemporary planetary aspects, perhaps we turned our backs too soon on this doozy of a transit!

The Sabian Symbol for the Sun in Aries at the time of the attacks is a cameo profile of a man in the outline of his country thus “the man is perceived by others not as a unique individual but in terms of his collective identity and the cultural traditions that he represents” (Roche, 1998, p.33). This description takes on a sinister tone in the wake of these recent acts against humanity.

The keyword for this Sabian Symbol is exploitation. Diana E. Roche describes the negative implications: “Infamy as the result of portraying and perpetuating the worst stereotypes of a culture” (1998, p34). We can see how suicide bombers have been exploited by groups hell bent on an agenda that breeds fear, hatred and segregation. These people have been misled by false promises of celebrated martyrdom and eternal glory, and appallingly they have been convinced that god wants them to harm their fellows. The response of “our side” is no different, though we have better marketing.

War is not the answer. Violence begets violence. We must pray for victims on both sides of this gaping global wound, for the division is merely an illusion. We are all one, and these despicable deeds are not acts against enemies, but self harm. Our collective consciousness, for which we are all personally responsible, is surely at a tipping point? We must choose love, before it is too late.

Now i am going back to my meditation♥

Saturn

IMG_2473Saturn is the Time Lord, whose action tends to limit us and slow things down. He brings us back to reality and holds us accountable for our actions. He can be harsh too. We might think we’ve gotten away with something but more likely, Saturn just hasn’t caught up with us yet. Rest assured; he will.

Where we are able to effectively integrate Saturn energy into our lives we benefit from wisdom, maturity, personal responsibility, self-discipline, humility and integrity. We learn things and develop a strong foundation from which to extend ourselves. Saturn sets boundaries, and like a good father, is ultimately supportive and holds our highest good in mind.

We could be forgiven for thinking otherwise when we find ourselves in the midst of a Saturn transit. Notably Saturn Return, which occurs approximately every 29 years, can indeed be punishing as we come to terms first with the realities of adulthood as we near 30; and later as we approach 60 we must reflect upon life thus far, what that means for our legacy, as well as the limitations of the encroaching elder years. But Saturn is always somewhere, and potentially activating the various trigger points in our birth chart. He is ever watchful, aware of our intentions and attempts at self-deception.

Lately I’ve observed a few distinctly Saturnian wake up calls. Each of these stories are sad and to me, relatable. I can see how things slowly but surely spiralled downwards until inevitably, something’s gotta give. When we find ourselves at crisis point it is only we who are able to liberate ourselves from the shackles of pride, denial, projection, escapism, and pain. We must understand that these critical Saturn events are gifts. We are given an opportunity to wake up!

But so often, defensiveness kicks in. We are too afraid, too ashamed, too habituated in avoidance that we sleep through the alarm. Taking this path perpetuates the suffering. We cannot escape our own karma, and we are creating it with each and every moment. When we resist the imposed authority of Saturn we are blinded to the doors Saturn has opened for us. So busy are we shifting blame or pointing fingers or frantically ignoring the signs we miss our cue…

With awareness it is never too late. Within each of us is strength power intelligence. We know the truth. In a sticky Saturn predicament, we must surrender, be humble and graciously accept our defeat. From here we can rise again, more resilient, mature and wise. We learn from our mistakes and we are better people for it.