Part 1 [published in the November/December 2016 issue of Infinity Astrological Magazine] explored how to move on from Saturn and Uranus transits in ways that honour the transits' higher purpose. The messages and lessons of those transits are relatively easy to understand and digest if we are conscious and willing to work with them. This is because astrological Saturn is materialistic, representing that which is tangible and measurable and even Uranus, the first 'outer' or 'generational' planet, is closely wedded in our world. In the myth, Uranus was the son (and husband) of Gaia, mother Earth. And Prometheus, often associated with astrological Uranus, was the creator of mankind who stole fire from Olympus for the benefit of humanity.
Neptune, however, is a different story. Cast out of Olympus, he became ruler of the mysterious, fathomless oceans, 95% of which remains unexplored to this day (it's said that more people have been to the Moon than have descended to the deepest part of the ocean). Even traversing the surface of the oceans is to relinquish control to forces bigger than ourselves as Neptune rules storms and shipwrecks and also hurricanes, which form over the ocean and upon reaching land, indiscriminately destroy all that mankind has created which falls in their path.
In astrology, Neptune is associated with the water element, with waves of feelings, the imagination and the world of dreams. It represents the collective unconsciousness driven by instinct and fed by symbolism. It's our shared dreams and our imagined idea of perfection. It's where we allow ourselves to be swept along by an unachievable ideal; where we collectively surrender to enchantments and even to mass hypnosis as we succumb to the yearning to believe in something better, more glamourous, than ourselves.
Neptune's transits tend to be abstract, right brained experiences in a world where we are judged by our ability to be left brained and rational. This is why they are hard to understand, let alone assimilate. And what does manifest during a Neptune transit leaves us confused and exhausted as often as it lifts and inspires us. We can feel flooded by emotions, unsure of where those feelings have come from, perhaps not aware that they are connecting us to the collective unconscious, of which we are a part, but which we cannot own and control because it does not recognise us as separate from the whole.
Neptune's is the world of the transcendent, of the mystic, the artist. It's of the soul, beyond self-identity and the concerns of the ego. During its transits we are swept along on its tide, suffering if we resist, but losing our sense of self if we don't. And in our material world where the sense of 'me, the self' is distinct and separate from 'you, the other', letting go of the concerns of 'me' seems unfeasible.
The fall-out from a Neptune transit is often the most difficult to get a grip on. Clients may come to a consultation at the end of the transit bewildered because although they may be starting to see things more clearly, they may not be sure what just happened and even less sure of what it means. It's tempting to dismiss it and try to pick up where they left off before the transit happened.
So, what kind of discussion do you have with yourself/client/friend/partner etc?
That, after a Neptune transit, often through no fault of your own, you can miss the opportunity for growth the transit offered. That going with the flow, which is what a Neptune transit calls for, may have simply been impractical.
If you did honour your Neptune transit, maybe you retreated; took time out; spent time alone; listened to your dreams; connected with God or the god within; felt inspired by art or music, put financial concerns to one side and surrendered to your situation, experienced healing at a deep soul level. You now feel ready to 'return' to the 'real' world refreshed and inspired.
But Neptune transits don't just happen to Neptunian people. They also happen to working parents; professionals anxious to progress in the competitive corporate world and those with debts and mortgages. Few can afford to take long stretches of time out of their lives to search for higher spiritual meaning, develop creativity or even to volunteer to help those in need.
A Neptune transit, therefore, can feel like an interruption. We need to reassure ourselves and/or our clients (especially those with Saturn strong in their charts) that there was some purpose to it. That they are not failing at life or being left behind, if, for the duration of the transit, they struggled to carry on as usual; or found that their heart was no longer in their job or relationship; or they fell ill; or felt burnt out; or were simply too tired and disenchanted to be bothered to make the effort in whatever area of life the transit touched.
As the fog of the transit clears, energy levels begin to rise and 'normal' perspective starts to return. There's often the feeling that things have been allowed to slip during the transit, so, at its end, it's common to want to dive back into the demands of the material world, to re-establish a routine, get organised, immerse oneself in practical tasks, to make a decision about whatever couldn't be decided upon under the transit.
This earthly practicality sounds very Virgo-esque and of course, Virgo is the sign opposite to Neptune's modern ruler, Pisces. Virgo is where we meet practical concerns and provides a good lever back to the material world once Neptune is done with us (until next time). While Neptune and Pisces is big picture, Virgo anchors us in the small things, in the details. But we mustn't forget that Neptunian feeling at the other end of the Virgo-Pisces axis, the bigger picture realisation that even as we are small and finite, we are also part of the infinite whole and must find a way to allow ourselves to feel part of it, to be more than just a body and a mind.
But all too often we do forget this after a Neptune transit and maybe this is part of the reason why so many find Neptune transits amongst the most difficult to learn and grow from and why subsequent Neptune transits seem to bring back similar feelings and issues.
'Waking up' after a Neptune transit, you might feel guilty or humiliated, even angry. Why? Because you may have fallen for the smoke and mirrors of someone you thought was perfect, be it a romantic partner you thought was your soul mate, a spiritual mentor you put your faith in, or even a charismatic colleague you looked up to, but who now seems more like a snake oil salesman. Now you realise they are human, just like you, and you feel foolish. And this can apply just as easily to a situation, or to your expectations of yourself, as it can to another person. Either way, you followed the road to your 'happy ending' and it turned out to be a mirage. Where you've been deluding yourself becomes evident - it can feel like coming out from under an enchantment. And as the spell lifts, it's a lot easier to see things with more objectivity. But to give in to pride, anger or shame is to project your feelings through the ego, which is not what Neptune's message was all about. What you are being asked to do is accept the lesson but let go of the negative 'ego' emotions attached to it and forgive yourself for falling for whatever or whoever it was you fell for.
Forgiveness is often the healthiest response because Neptune transits invite us to feel compassion and empathy towards others when they slip off the pedestal we have put them on. And even if it turns out that the person or situation deliberately deceived you, compassion and forgiveness is still called for, however hard that might be to stomach. For in watery Neptune's world we are all the same. What infects one drop infects the whole.
However, it is possible to over-empathise, which is why it's essential that, whilst still honouring Neptune's message, we need to set healthy boundaries. And boundary setting or re-setting is a good tactic for after the transit is over as much as it is for during the transit. During a Neptune transit, it's easy to let our boundaries leak or even dissolve completely and there are a number of signs that this is happening. These include succumbing to contagious illnesses such as viruses; feelings of exhaustion; being taking advantage of by others; allowing ourselves to be deceived or emotionally manipulated; free floating anxiety, or just a general feeling of being ungrounded, unanchored.
There are many ways to set boundaries. For example, the number one rule for anyone who cares for and supports others is to look after yourself first. This isn't selfish, it's practical. How can you save someone when you're drowning yourself? You may need to tell others where your boundaries lie, what your limits are, let them know what is unacceptable and uncomfortable for you.
The more spiritually minded might wish to work on strengthening their psychic boundaries. Visualisation works well, such as imagining yourself surrounded by a protective white light or inside a flexible bubble that only allows in that which is positive and healthy. Simply grounding yourself by consciously feeling your feet connect to the earth can also help.
Neptune's transits can be humbling experiences. Understand that the humbling is only of the ego, not of the soul. Let go of false hubris and accept yourself as perfectly flawed, for to be flawed is to be able to learn and grow, with compassion and in forgiveness.
These transits often come with a general feeling of disappointment or disillusionment with life. It's easy to put those feelings to one side once the transit is over and carry on as before but that would be to lose the opportunity to explore what caused that feeling, to get to the heart of the matter.
Neptune deals in symbols, not logic, so these transits also often bring encounters with the spiritual, with the world of dreams, imagination and symbolism. Often, our encounter with Neptune's world manifests as escapism. Neptune tantalises us with glamour, fantasy and magic. It's a signature for art, photography, the movie business and its glamorous airbrushed starlets; things which are representative of real things, but are idealised copies, a few steps removed from reality. Now the transit is over, what was at the root of the need to escape reality? What did the urge say about what you are dissatisfied with? What did you dream and daydream about during the Neptune transit and what places did your mind wander to? What fantasises seduced you? What movies and music and literature did you indulge in? What did you yearn for?
The urge for escapism can also translate into the use of drugs or alcohol, for example and now that the transit is over, you may need to 'clean up' (that Virgoesque feeling again). Some may need to seek expert outside help if addictions have been revisited or formed.
But escapism isn't necessarily a bad thing under a Neptune transit. It's possible to emerge feeling lifted and inspired. But now the Neptune mist has cleared, you might be telling yourself that your dream was unrealistic. Or you might have surrendered to your dream or ideal and are now struggling to try to make it work in the real world, perhaps even wondering if you should abandon your dream. Does the ideal future you envisioned hold water now the transit is over? Clarity and perspective is now on your side to help you figure out the answers.
Perhaps during the transit you embraced, maybe even for the first time, the mystical, the spiritual. Now the question is how to incorporate it into your life going forward, how to make it a routine without losing the magic.
Perhaps you felt sunk by the sorrows of the world and now want to do what you can to help. With the transit over, it will be easier to realistically see how you can make a difference, but remember the Neptune lesson of compassion with healthy boundaries and kindly detachment.
Or perhaps you felt inspired to manifest the symbolism of the transit through art or photography or another creative pursuit and now might be the time to invest in some training, even if just for fun, to help your new found talent and passion to grow.
Finally, our Neptune transit teaches us that we can't control everything and everyone and to try to do so is to make ourselves suffer unnecessarily, that we should change the things we can but accept the things we can't.
Poseidon: CC0 Public Domain, by TPHeinz via pixabay.com
Lake: CC0 Public Domain, by pjcruz via pixabay.com
Stones: CC0 Public Domain, by Einfach-Eves via pixabay.com
Bench: CC0 Public Domain, by DieDritteMarie via pixabay.com
First published in: www.infinityastrologicalmagazine.com, Jan/Feb 2017.
Mandi Lockley is a London based astrologer and author. She runs the Astroair blog and has been published in the Astrological Journal of the Astrological Association of Great Britain an Infinity Astrological Magazine, as well as on numerous websites. Her videos for beginners appear on the Academy of Astrology YouTube channel. Mandi studied at the London School of Astrology and gained the school's certificate in 2005. She is committed to self-development and strives to live true to herself, in service to others and in harmony with the cycles of the universe – an approach she brings to her work with clients.
Mandi is an associate from Academy of Astrology UK within the Infinity Astrological Magazine.
© 2017 - Mandi Lockley - published by Infinity Astrological Magazine
18-Jun-2018, 15:06 UT/GMT
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