Neptune and the Ocean of Dreams

Neptune, bringer of creative dreams and the nightmare of addiction. How can we learn to accept the things we cannot see?

This week I’ve been suffering from flu. Fever, cough, chills – all the things we associate with the flu virus. On the bright side however, illness is a great time to have some ‘me’ time – though not from choice – and as I lay there musing and having crazy feverish dreams, I wondered about the nature of viruses. We cannot see them yet they are all around us and have the ability to pass through our boundaries to make us incredibly weak. I decided they were the most Neptunian of organisms – completely invisible, they swarm our defences and make us feel completely unlike our normal selves.

That, in essence, is Neptune, ruler of Pisces and the Twelfth House, the planet that takes us away from normality and allows us to construct an alternative reality – without being aware of what is really happening. Neptune is a generational planet – none of us will live long enough to see a Neptune return – so, by sign, we share the ways in which Neptune‘s energies are expressed with our peers. However, at the individual level, Neptune affects us all too.

By house position in every persons chart, Neptune shows where you may be blind to the things you really should be paying more attention to. To give you some examples, in the Fourth House, you may neglect your home or family, in the Sixth House it’s possible to ignore signs of ill health or maybe have a disordered lifestyle or with Neptune in the Tenth House you may feel you need to drop out of society in some way. Neptune makes you want to escape from all that is mundane, ordered, responsible and routine by taking your mind to a different place entirely. You simply don’t notice the things you need to do.

It’s not for nothing that Neptune is associated with altering the mind. From being easily distracted from rather dull daily tasks, to drug and alcohol abuse induced abdication of responsibilities to yourself and others, Neptune has all bases covered and provides you with a wealth of excuses as to why you behave a you do. ‘I couldn’t help it’, says the Neptune in you, if indeed, you say anything at all. Neptune ghosts, evading the tough call every time.

It’s this aspect of Neptune that lies at the root of it’s more negative manifestations. Your mind wants to take you to a different world, a world of dreams and you feel helpless and ensnared, after all who doesn’t want to live the dream? The problem is this – Neptune‘s dreams can come at a price and when the only way you can feed those dreams is through addiction, whether it’s some form of substance abuse, gambling or even sexual addiction, that’s a high price to pay for that brief moment of touching the stars.

So there you have it. Neptune can be an infection in your soul, making you drift aimlessly across it’s ocean of dreams until one day you wake up to find you’re lost. No bearings, no horizon and no comprehension of how you got there. How could this have happened to you? Neptune habitually takes us to it’s own realm – the place where we find it most difficult to understand what is happening in our lives so instead we often surrender ourselves to the Neptunian mist and remain in limbo.

One thing you have to realise about Neptune is the very thing I alluded to in my opening paragraph. It’s invisibility. This quality of Neptune‘s is the thing that makes it so hard for us to own our Neptune side. Now for those who don’t have a particularly strong Neptune in their chart that’s maybe less of a problem, however for those of you who have, for example, Neptune in an Angular House, Neptune in the Twelfth House, Neptune conjunct Sun or Moon, even many of you with the Sun or Moon in Pisces – I have a favourite phrase for this and it’s this – ‘a bad case of Neptune‘. A life filled with Neptunian issues can be problematic, largely because there is such a reluctance to face reality and admit there is a problem in the first place.

Facing up to Neptunian issues can be a struggle – yet paradoxically – Neptune is a planet of healing. The key to overcoming Neptune‘s negative manifestations lies in acceptance – the ultimate expression of Neptunian energy. Acceptance means, at heart, accepting yourself for who you are. it’s only then you can learn to accept the world as it is and other people as they are too.

That’s not to say that acceptance equates with putting up with your current state of oblivion. Neptune asks you to look into your soul – all the outer planets require soul work and Neptune is no exception – and ask yourself to accept who you are at the deepest level. We use our addictions to hide away from ourselves, it’s only by confronting them we make peace with our soul.

If that sounds trite I apologise, however, Neptune offers solutions to help us heal, regardless of the scale of the problems we may face. Once you have made the effort to make unconscious Neptune a positive and conscious force for good in your life, you can start to overcome your own issues – after all they’re your issues not Neptune‘s. Owning your Neptunian side actually means coming clean with yourself.

So is the solution to a Neptune influenced crisis in your life even more Neptune? Well, we all carry the potential to express our planetary energies in both positive and negative ways – and they’re not mutually exclusive. Neptune grants you spiritual qualities. Some may find religious faith helps them overcome adversity, others may practice yoga, meditation or mindfulness techniques. Again, the key is taking your mind to another plane – only this time the goal is self awareness not self destruction. Neptune can be your spiritual guide, making you receptive to the world rather than blotting it out and in that way, the things you found so difficult – your daily life and it’s responsibilities – become a form of spiritual practice.

Neptune is therefore asking you to love and worship the life you have on this earth but certainly not to abandon your dreams. In a positive way, this can mean you find joy in artistic expression. Music, poetry, drama, art – whether you simply enjoy looking, listening or watching or whether you take things further and find an outlet for your own creative expression, Neptune guides the way and Neptune‘s ‘infection’ becomes inspiration.

Equally, many people with strong Neptune influences find their lives have meaning working in the healing professions – not just conventional medicine but often as practitioners of alternative medicine and therapies. This drive to help and heal comes from Neptune‘s quality of universal love in all it’s forms and it is one which carries the promise of redemption.

As I conclude this article, I’m glad that the flu virus gave me the ‘time out’ to share my thoughts on Neptune with you. Being ill at home and thus detached from my usual daily routine was, perhaps, what I needed to get this done – then again, maybe it was the meds…

© Sara Shipman

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Gemini Rising: The Write Stuff

Gemini Rising? You’ve probably written half a dozen blog posts today, had ideas for half a dozen more and are considering your options…

So, there I was yesterday with my creative juices in full flow, writing a chapter of my new book. Not, I hasten to add, the book I told about in an earlier blog post (‘When Saturn Comes Home to Roost‘), but an even newer book. It is the first in a series of books and the pleasure I felt while planning each one – the text layout, the cover artwork – was as good as writing the text itself. Not that I’ve abandoned the first book – far from it – it’s mapped out and is many thousands of words to the good. It’s just that, well, I had this idea and simply had to run with it…

That folks, is a Gemini Ascendant in action. Suffice to say right now I’m also project managing a new house build, spending large amounts of time in the car going to visit my elderly mother and then there’s the dog to walk… Gemini rising is never short of things to do – in fact the more things there are to do the better Gemini rising likes it – though he or she will also complain bitterly about being so busy while adding yet another item to their multitasking schedule. Boredom is anathema to Gemini rising.

Ruled by that flighty planet Mercury, those of you born with a Gemini Ascendant see the world through a mercurial lens. Mental agility, the ability to keep all of your numerous projects in the air at any one time is a cool characteristic to own and it extends not only to the things you do but the things you think and say. Gemini rising, whatever the individual’s Sun sign, bestows on the bearer a restless, inquisitive nature and a need to communicate about anything that catches their interest for even (and often) the briefest of moments. And it is a real need – Gemini Ascendants need to experience life through their mental peregrinations to feel it’s all been worthwhile.

Constant stimulation is a necessity for Gemini rising – and they are generally stimulating people to be around as their wealth of interests makes them interesting people. Masters and mistresses of doing two things at once, the duality of Gemini is unmistakeable. This, and all the qualities of your Gemini side are, as with all rising signs, consciously projected outward into the world. And Gemini rising has to be connected to the outside world – without a smartphone they would not survive. Rolling news, a need to know, passing on information, Gemini rising is a social creature – even if this manifests as simply a liking for gossip and hours spent on social media. Gemini rising is therefore perceived by others as a sociable, multifaceted and versatile. More often than not, they are also considered amusing and engaging if somewhat shallow – even if this particular Ascendant masks a more shy, retiring or deeper personality underneath.

It is said Gemini Ascendants are not only quick of mind but agile and dextrous. This doesn’t make them Olympic sprinters – they’re not generally regarded as one of the sporty signs – but in general there seems to be a ‘quickness’ about them. Personally, I’m always rather sceptical about descriptions of particular physical attributes by sign as, seriously folks, I think this belongs in the realm of biology. However, as a Gemini rising, I can tell you I walk quickly and have a good degree of manual dexterity. My own take on this is I think perhaps those of us blessed with a Gemini Ascendant process information quickly – and maybe that includes our physical responses too.

If there’s a downside to Gemini rising it is this; it’s very easy for people born with this Ascendant sign to become a dilettante, a ‘Jack (or Jill) of all trades’. Developing focus can be difficult for Gemini rising as it’s so difficult to commit to a single course of action/hobby/career/relationship when there are so many options available. If there’s a key however to resolving this issue (and not all Gemini rising people will want to as, quite frankly, life can be fun for a social butterfly) it lies in the rest of your birth chart, particularly in the condition of your natal Sun. Find your passion in life as directed by your Solar potentials, and integrate this with the qualities of your Gemini Ascendant. The result will be a great sense of inner joy. Not easy for a Gemini rising…

So, have I, as a Gemini rising, found a way to integrate my Solar and Ascendant qualities? Well, Astrology is a passion and has been for decades and here I am writing about it like a true Gemini rising. Yes, I’ve been distracted by many things along the way but I’m firmly of the opinion that such things add to life’s great tapestry (now there’s an idea for a new hobby…) and all experiences are ultimately a good thing. As for the new book I’m writing (as I mentioned earlier) it’s the first of a series of books the subject of which is Sun, Moon and Rising Signs. I’m beginning with Aries (of course) as my chart ruler Mercury falls in my sixth house so getting things in the right order is just how it has to be.

Oh, before I forget, having a Gemini Ascendant places your Seventh House cusp in Sagittarius. This is your relationship house and you may find yourself attracted to partners with Sagittarian characteristics, the complement to your own Gemini side. You may find your one to one relationships reflect Sagittarius in some way e.g. they are long distance, you met in a foreign place, you have multiple marriages etc. I’m going to be writing a different article on relationships in future so won’t dwell on this too long here but my own experience? For what it’s worth I’ve had two marriages, one to an actual Sagittarian and one to someone of a different nationality who was multilingual. Relationships to those who have the traits of the sign opposite your Rising Sign are not uncommon – now there’s an idea for another book!

© Sara Shipman