“Your ego’s job isn’t to serve you. Its only job is to keep itself in power. And right now, your ego’s scared to death cuz it’s about to get downsized.
You keep up this spiritual path, baby, and that bad boy’s days are numbered. Pretty soon your ego will be out of work, and your heart’ll be making all the decisions. So your ego’s fighting for its life, playing with your mind, trying to assert its authority, trying to keep you cornered off in a holding pen away from the rest of the universe. Don’t listen to it.”
This quote is from Elizabeth Gilberts’ Eat Pray Love and is so appropriate for Neptune transits of the Sun that I could probably end this post right here and now.
We know that Neptune transits are particularly dreamy times, hard to talk about, hard to pin down and hazy from a memory viewpoint. Before writing this post, I went back to the trusty ephemeris to see what was happening in my life the last time that Neptune transited any part or point on my chart. And when I say transited, I’m talking serious stuff, the transits I should have been able to remember, ie the conjunctions, squares and oppositions.
Neptune square Neptune, a typical mid-life transit, was the most recent- at 24/25 Aquarius it was a few years ago. I know exactly the crap that was going down at that point in time, but can I talk about it? Nope.
Other than that, the last Neptune transit of note was in 1998 when she glided into Aquarius, sextiling natal Saturn. All my existing structures and belief systems were dissolved in the most beautiful way. Life was never the same again. I gave birth to my daughter during that transit.
The rest is just too far back to talk about.
According to Steven Forrest in The Changing Sky, Neptunes’ gift is the experience of serenity, inspiration and vision. Nice.
Conversely, her trap is “the temptation to deceive or undo ourselves with glamorous falsehoods and easy self-destructive patterns of escape…eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.”
Hmmm, that one sort of sounds like my attitude to life as a Neptunian…although the first does apply too.
Neptune does come with the most palatable remedy, though…in theory anyway. There are no mountains to climb (Saturn), electrical storms of unexpected ferocity (Uranus) or depths to descend into (Pluto). Neptune expects you to do nothing, just relax into it. Chill out, open yourself to feeling. Dude.
Sound good? As I said, in theory.
Letting it all just flow, Man, is not how we are programmed these days. Can you imagine saying to your boss “sorry Dude, but I’m having, like, this really spacey Neptune transit at the moment and my astrologer told me to just let it flow and open myself up to the beyondness of life. So, I’m heading off to meditate on top of a mountain for the next two years…you’d be cool with that?” Right?
Rather than detaching from our ego, everything that we do every day is exactly the opposite. We are encouraged to use our head rather than our heart, crappy decisions made by profiteering executives are justified as being ok because they are “business decisions”. The work we do doesn’t sing to our soul, but it satisfies our need to put a roof (or the right roof) over our head, clothes (and the right brands) on our back, and a label (or title) on our masthead.
Neptune transits arrive at a time when we need to be reminded that our ego has become too important to itself, too attached to its own sense of rightness and too intent on pursuing a course that has no real feeling or spiritual relevance.
If you don’t embrace the Neptunian influence willingly, ie if you aren’t willing to let go, Neptune will do it for you. If you don’t relax, Neptune will make sure that you have no choice. The number of people who report feeling listless, no energy, and chronically fatigued during a Neptune transit is incredible. Neptune forces them to opt out.
Likewise people who reporting doing things that they normally wouldn’t do, things that they should have known better than to do. Dumb things. During Neptune transits we fall in love with people we shouldn’t fall in love with, entangle ourselves in things we shouldn’t be entangled in, become addicted to things we shouldn’t be addicted to and escape to places that we would be better off never visiting.
All of these things serve the purpose of bringing us out of our egos, showing us that we are human, and presenting us with another alternative that forces us to feel.
That Neptune square I referred to? I did some real dumb stuff over the period of that transit. Dumb things that I knew from the outset were dumb, but that I also thought were real. I believed people who I knew at the time were lying to me. I willingly laid myself open to be hurt. The outcome of that transit is that it dissolved my idea of who I am, or rather who I thought that I should be.
And, if I’m being honest, the reason that we do dumb things is because they are so fun. Losing yourself can be fun…at the time… The consequences of those decisions and actions, however, often are not- fun, that is. That’s why they are dumb. We know that, but under a Neptune transit we often do them anyway.
… And I get all your good advice
It doesn’t stop me from going through these things twice
I see the knives out, I turn my back
I hear the train coming, I stay right on that track
In the middle, in the middle, in the middle of a dream
I lost my shirt, I pawned my rings
I’ve done all the dumb things
Dumb Things– Lyrics by Paul Kelly. All usual rights.