Last night, we had a section dinner in which we sat at tables with some of our classmates, a person from the law school, and an alumni. Our school chaplain sat with us, and I thought ‘Thank the GOD I don‘t believe in.‘ If I have to deal with any more lawyer stuff, my head will explode. I want to be reminded that there is actually a world out there that we hope to serve after all of this mind-twisting. Being my brash, irreverent self, and having grown up around clergy to assume they’re human, and being a non-traditional student in which I was once on the same level as most of my superiors are now, I’m not adjusting to being a student well.
I thought this was a perfect time then to discuss an upcoming transit that will affect me and many of you.
Neptune is squaring Saturn right now, and will really hit the fan in a couple of months, and mind-twisting sort of sums it up. I feel bad for those going through their Saturn returns now. When Saturn and Neptune square, there is a conflict between what is concrete, what grows slowly in the real world, and must be accounted for, and the world of dreams, of the spirit, of images and thoughts. On one hand, it is dreaming real, so long as one uses the Saturnian energy to stick it out, hold onto the dream, and do the work to make it real. On the other hand, it can dissolve our desire and sense of duty and cause us to lose heart when we think we‘re slipping. This is like being late for work and having to walk on ice. You either have to risk being late by walking carefully, or you have to run the risk of falling on your face by keeping the pace. You still run the risk of slipping and falling even if you walk carefully. Will you sit on the sidewalk if you slip and fall and cry for the rest of the day over your back luck, or will you get up and keep going?
This is not a transit of blocked energy, but rather, conflicting energy. It is a time in which people who normally doubt themselves, their abilities, and their place in the world will do it all the more, and where those who normally live life by their intuition and are guided by spirit will have to reconcile it with very real world things. This is a time of reckoning, and with Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces, those who live deceitful lives, who live through tricking others or by creating illusions make their way in the world may have to answer for what they do:
There is an element of exploitation to this aspect, and it is not unusual to see it in the birth charts of charismatic leaders and cults of personality. They can create an illusion (Neptune) to produce a result (Saturn) by getting people to cooperate with things that normally they would not if not for the illusion. In the case of televangelists, who would actually simply mail money they can‘t afford to someone on television if they simply said ‘I want poor people to give me money so I buy more nice things for myself‘? No one. They sell the idea of healing through the sacrifice (Neptune), of delayed gratification (Saturn), of the idea that investing in them is really you investing in yourself (Neptune again). They are a brood of vipers. While they could use this energy to create something beautiful for the world, to really help people, to really create a solid case for their own sainthood, instead, they took the lower path. This is not commerce. This is not spiritual guidance. This is not helping anyone.
However, this is also an aspect of teachers and guides. These are people who can take the ineffable (Neptune) and make it real and understandable (Saturn). This is an aspect of sainthood, as Neptune rules sacrifice, charity, and martyrdom and Saturn service, duty, and denial. This is the high road of this aspect.
What then, does it mean now that this is happening in transit in the heavens? For those who aren‘t experiencing this personally, and just in general, this means that in our world, there will be illusions that will either be destroyed or dreams that will be made true. We have been sleeping on a lot of things we have to wake up and go through the long business of fixing the problem. We do have the option to continue to sleep through it, only to wake up to disaster. If you are sleeping in your bed and wake up to your house shaking, you may realize that there is an earthquake and try to secure your life, if not your possessions. You do, however, have the option of going back to sleep, dying in your sleep, and becoming one with the rubble. If we replace earthquake with things like global warming, poverty, and human rights issues, we can see how this applies to us en masse. On our side of the world, we have been sleeping. On other sides of the world, they have been wide awake and may be coming out of the illusion that things will be just fine without taking drastic measures….astrology effects all of us, not just those of us in the Western world. It is not fun to clean up our messes, to sift through the rubble, but the alternative is to let it all go to waste and save no one trapped in the rubble.
This is a karmic aspect, and the reckoning may very well be upon those of us who have been living very comfortable lives. I have in-laws who live in affluence in the suburbs who can‘t dream of a day when there is simply no more Chilean organic salad mixes for sale at Whole Foods, who don‘t even care that this may be a possibility because it won‘t happen in their lifetimes. But this is only a minor detail in the ongoing food crisis and class inequality that is killing our nation. But what if those of us who see revolution are simply dreaming, and that yes, this can go on forever? Saturn is not a planet of comfortable transitions. This is a planet that tells us that it is really, really going to suck when we realize that our oil reserves are more water than oil now, that we are late in the game of alternative and renewable resources, and that we haven‘t changed our infrastructures and lifestyles quickly enough to make it work. We will be deprived.
Of course, there is no reason to hide under your bed and stockpile weapons. This is just another warning of things to come. The last really, really huge transit was during the last global recession, and not everyone felt that; fuck, some people thrived.
How will this transit affect you? If Neptune and Saturn are conjunct or opposing your natal planets, this will affect you in those areas of your life. If you have, say, Neptune opposing Jupiter by transit right now, the part of your life that is optimistic, that has a great capacity for something, that brings you reward, is now dealing with a passing T-Square in which there is a struggle between creating a great amount of practical results (Jupiter in Virgo) and a desire to escape the earthly realm. This tug of war is centered on the Saturnian desire to solidify the visions of Sagittarius. For example, this person may be struggling between wanting to dream and escape the world and actually applying this dream to the daily life. They are probably struggling with time management and which dream or vision to follow (since Jupiter represents the many, and Neptune diffuses things and makes them one) or determining how things are different and should be prioritized. Ultimately, what they want is to make a dream come true, but which one, when, and how? And…how long will it take?
This is a transit that does bring back old feelings and old themes; all Saturn transits do that. The good news is that it gives you a chance to grow and change. Neptune transits turn your world around and give you the chance to dream of other things. It may heighten psychic and empathetic powers, which can — in this case especially — be unwelcome, as they interfere with the real world. There is power here; one thing that I keep learning and re-learning is that I have a lot of power to hurt people‘s feelings. I also have the power to support. We all do, but I know that I have a capacity to be callous and careless with the feelings of others because I am also empathetic. Being raw on the inside makes one develop callouses. However, the callouses are what keeps the insides soft and raw; to being strong on the inside takes a lot more work, and that takes time.
Guilt and regret is a side-effect of this transit. Doubt, self-loathing. It is harder to escape the inner nagging feelings that there is something flawed about the spirit. Running away is one answer. Wallowing is another. Going through it is another. One of the things we really don‘t understand in this culture is that it takes a second to inflict a wound, but it takes a lot of time to heal it; a word or phrase doesn‘t fix everything. Those wounds that haven‘t healed, whether they are our wounds or the ones we have inflicted, will be much more apparent to us, especially for those of us personally affected by this transit. One thing that is true that we wish wasn‘t true is that there is no life lived without regrets. One cannot really live life and have no regrets. That is part of being human and having the capacity to have more than one thought at any given time. We can‘t do everything we conceive of doing, even if we have the capacity for it simply because we have finite time, energy, and opportunities. Saturn rules the passage of time, and as such, rules limits. There is a time for everything, but the time is not always when you want it to be. We cannot go back and change things. The minute, the months, the years that has passed are gone forever. We can dream of them and how we would have done them differently, but that is a luxury we have because we can look back.
But, as I am trying to get back to the positive side of things, this is a time to realize that there is lots of time, and we can bend and change to what is needed of us. Maybe we can really visualize a time where we are writing great hypotheticals and can start practicing now, or on a larger scale, a time when we don‘t need to worry about killing people in the South Pacific due to rising oceans and can take little steps toward making it happen. Make a little sacrifice now. Take time away from the din of life and slow down. Seriously. Can you walk to the grocery store today and not die? You won‘t believe how therapeutic walking your errands can be.
Slow down. Be thoughtful. Forgive.