Neptune and the Ocean of Dreams

Neptune, bringer of creative dreams and the nightmare of addiction. How can we accept that which 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

When Saturn Comes Home To Roost…

Saturn in the Fourth House brings family responsibilities and reminds us of the passage of time…

So, today I was mooching around, my partner had gone away on a business trip and I was generally feeling at a loose end. Prompted by a need to create a little order in the house I decided to tidy the sitting room. As I was dusting the cabinet, I suddenly felt sad. Last year I lost my father and the order of service from his funeral was still there, next to the lamp and one of my favourite pottery bowls.

Today was cold, but not as bad as last year when I travelled many miles north to take my father to various hospital appointments, mostly having to venture out in bitterly cold winds and heavy snow. And despite the January weather, in comparison to last year, this winter seems mild – not just meteorologically but emotionally too.

Last year I had Saturn in the Fourth House of my Solar Return Chart. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Solar Returns, I’m not going to go into depth here – suffice to say it’s a great tool for Predictive Astrology and yes, being aware I had it coming I was apprehensive to say the least. However, what did that Solar Return actually mean and how did it work out?

Well, to give you an insight into my feelings, I want to share with you an extract from the book I’m currently writing on this subject. I have a way to go and it’s very much a labour of love, but with most things astrological, it’s often useful to look back and learn from what we have experienced, so here is what I had to say about the Solar Return Fourth House:

“The Solar Return Fourth House is where you feel at home and in any solar return year, a tenanted fourth house brings all issues to do with home, family, belonging and your sense of stability to the fore.

In my experience over the years, The Solar Return Fourth House is very directly to do with all matters relating to the home and family as they are in the ‘here and now’. This contrasts with Natal Chart interpretations which place your origins and familial heritage in the fourth house. In other words, your Natal Fourth House is descriptive of the things that have informed the person you are today.

The Solar Return Fourth House is, however, descriptive of the issues you are dealing with in, what is for many people, one of the most important areas of their lives. So, it’s here you will find your parents (some astrologers place your parents in the 4th and 10th houses, I find the 4th is more representative of them both).

You will both leave home and find new homes in the Solar Return Fourth House as this covers all things relating to your living and domestic situation. So, matters such as relocation, house repairs, remodelling and redecoration are found in the Solar Return Fourth House.

Family matters are found in the SR Fourth house and there is nothing like family to stir up the emotions – which they will do in this house. One very important aspect of the Solar Return is to do with nurturing – you may need to look after others or may discover you need to nurture yourself rather more than you have been doing in the past.

The Solar Return Fourth House is where we look after things so it’s where we cook, clean and grow things (flowers, families, ourselves) and those matters may demand significant amounts of your time and energy if your Solar Return Chart points that way.”

Sara Shipman 2018

 

Put Saturn in this house and you can see how things could pan out for you during the course of the year. Saturn is about responsibility and last year I certainly felt responsible for looking after both of my elderly parents and spent a considerable amount of time doing so.

We forget sometimes how literal astrology can be, however, the cool (if not cold) planet of responsibility, time, old age, duty and restriction in the house of home, family and parents points to exactly the issues I have been dealing with for the past twelve months. It is not however a given that you will have a death in the family when Saturn takes up residence in the Fourth House. The issues here are ones of responsibility and reliability, maybe becoming a parent to your own parents and of course, dealing with perhaps difficult family matters in a practical and timely way.

Looking back on the year I was struck by how this Solar Return placement played out in so many ways. During the year I really wanted to move house. My house is great and in a desirable neighbourhood, but no. Nothing doing. Saturn the planet of frustration in the Fourth House of the home? That’s how it goes sometimes. You have to make do and come to terms with the fact that on this occasion, you’re really not going to get what you want.

But it’s not all bad, being forced to stay where I was meant I had few distractions from the emotionally difficult time I was going through. When I took my house off the market I felt as if a burden had been taken away from me. I was grateful for the familiarity of my own home; Saturn may feel restrictive but we are often grateful for the security he confers.

So as a New Year begins – and my own personal new Solar Return year began a couple of months ago – I feel Saturn has moved on from my Fourth House (though he has been replaced by Neptune – water issues anyone? Oh, yes…) Saturn reminds us that life does move on. We cannot stop the passage of time any more than we can hold water in our hands.

For a little more on Saturn and Capricorn, take a look at my recent post ‘We Look to the Stars’.

NB: My Book ‘Solar Returns’ – Your Essential Guide to Predictive Astrology‘, will (I hope!) be available on Amazon late in 2019. Or Early 2020. Watch this space…

© Sara Shipman