After five months retrograde, Neptune stations direct at 3:44 am on 16th November GMT, beginning a forward journey once more. Neptune is one of the slowest moving planets so its shifts are not felt immediately but as subtle changes over time. In the coming few weeks we will begin to feel the effects of Neptune’s about-turn, especially those people with planets in Pisces. When Neptune is retrograde we are encouraged to cultivate compassion for ourselves first and foremost, to look within at our fractures and wounds and see each one as a reflection of the divine which rests at the heart of all life’s expressions. Neptune retrograde reminds us that self-acceptance is the foundation stone for all raising of consciousness. If we cannot accept that of which we become conscious we will shut down again and leave self-awareness for another day. Or we will side-step the mess we’d rather not have to deal with and believe ourselves to be healed when in fact we are simply fragmented further in our desire for peace.
Many people have had to face much darkness this year. Any one of us alive now, no matter who we are, is reaping the consequences of millennia lived with increasing human unconsciousness. We are the filters for these clogged up, dense and heavy energies that arise when ego is out of control and everything, including living creatures and the planet herself, become an object for its gratification. The intensity many are experiencing in their own lives is merely a reflection of the intensity being played out in the ecosystem of which we are a part. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm and Neptune has its work cut out trying to get us to understand that, despite all of this, open-heartedness is still the way to go. These past few months it has encouraged us in open-heartedness toward our very selves and all that we are. Now, as it begins a forward journey once more, we are encouraged to extend that openness out towards others, recognising them as another facet of ourselves.
This turnabout is timely, for we will need greater outward displays of compassion and acceptance as we head towards 2015 and beyond. At times of intense change there is always a risk of too much focus on the self and not enough acknowledgement of others. It’s easy to become blinkered to the lives of those around us when we’re in the midst of our own inner and outer turmoil! But we are encouraged to look beyond our own doorstep in the coming months and see what’s happening outside, both near and far. In doing so we will discover new ways to address our own issues in the light of those we see elsewhere. There is a symbiosis here: in tending to external needs we will discover that our own are met, mysteriously and with less effort than we would otherwise have invested. The Two are becoming One and Neptune’s new phase will render this fact increasingly apparent.
Between 18th and 23rd November Neptune is squared by Venus who will have just entered Sagittarius reminding us that compassion doesn’t have to be heavy or laden with sorrow for the plight of others. We can touch life with it lightly, bringing cheer and hope to others alongside our deepest empathy for their plight. We do not have to enter the pain to be compassionate but instead can use it to reach down and lift others out. And yes, knowing when to lift up and when to connect in the depths is a skill in itself and one that we can all work upon now. The more people who can gauge the best response and carry it off the more will those who suffer know that hope and help is at hand, to empower, encourage and exhort them on their own path. Not by imposing our own perspective upon them, but by lifting up their face to see the possibilities to which they may otherwise remain blind. In turn we can also find that in our hour of need a hand reaches down into the darkness and connects with our own.
All Neptune wants is for us to realise separation as the illusion that it is. It sounds so simple and yet we struggle endlessly to realise this truth. It seems like a nice idea and sometimes we may even ‘get’ it experientially, but we are still up against a long and florid history of humankind doing everything it possibly can to deny the truth and live a lie. Neptune wants to end the struggle, to simply let it be truth, pure and gentle. In the coming months as the consequences of our response to others increasingly manifest in our own lives, we can directly encounter our unity with All That Is.
The Mayan phrase ‘In Lak’ech Ala Kin’ – You are another Myself – has never been more poignant than now, for Neptune urges us to see through its eyes and recognise this truth to be the root of all being, not simply the goal on a spiritual path which stretches off into the distance. With Neptune as our guide we can know this now and all that it means for ourselves, our lives and our world. I am you, you are me and we are all and everything.