The less I write, the less inclined I am to write. Neptune has entered my first house, and I find myself more scattered-brained than usual, more desirous of silence or at least of communication that isn’t so…linear.
I’m trying to write more creatively now. I’ve been writing more than ever over the past four years, but not stories, and that’s what my brain kind of is: a tangle of stories.
Music is different now, and I find myself singing more, wanting to sing. My tastes have evolved over the years, and now, its soul, Motown, and jazz that really do it for me. I’m in love with jazz singing, jazz singers (but not The Jazz Singer), and realizing that I live in Chicago and there’s jazz all around, I need more of it in my real life.
That would be different.
But I am also different now, or at least I think I am.
Never trust a Neptune transit for what you think it is, and especially not based on any fleeting emotions.
I have been more successful in learning a second language than I have been since it was compulsory (three years of German in school). I’m taking ASL classes, and I find it’s so much easier to learn because there’s no hearing or speaking element. This is a Mercury retrograde problem. I did pretty well with the reading and writing parts of learning second languages. I could sound out the Korean alphabet within two weeks of arriving in Seoul. I was flying through most of Duolingo’s Norwegian lessons. But I couldn’t say sentences, and I couldn’t converse in a spoken language well. I barely passed the oral part of my German classes, and Mrs. Seward — God bless her — was lobbing easy sentences to me so I would squeak by.
Forget learning to speak Spanish.
No one could understand what little Korean I could speak, so I became an expert at pantomime.
It’s a miracle I can even converse in English, and even then there’s some question.
It was right after the bar exam that I started watching all the television shows I had been meaning to catch up on while chiding myself for not spending this time trying to gain marketable skills, like becoming proficient in a second language. I was watching Fargo and saw Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers signing, and realized that’s ASL is a language I could probably learn because there’s no sound to hear or sounds to make. It’s elegant.
The trouble is that once the lessons I’m taking are over, my choices are to enroll in a full-time Deaf Studies BA program at a private college with all the time and money I obviously have, or find someone willing to tutor/babysit me so I can continue to learn ASL. There’s lots of videos online, and some nice music video translations I’ve watched (though I have very different tastes in music than most of the most prolific YouTube translators), but it’s hard to learn a language without an audience. I feel very uncomfortable specifically seeking out people’s company specifically for the purpose of learning their language, as I have had more than a few uncomfortable social outings in Korea with ESL learners who were more interested in free English lessons than talking to me.
Of course, I could use more friends who 1) live in Chicago, and 2) are not lawyers who can 3) convince me that my psychic batteries are fully charged and I don’t need to spend any more time alone, in silence, all weekend.
Because I am actually content to spend huge chunks of time alone. When I was sixteen to twenty, up until the time I left my hometown the first time, I started to become a prolific pedestrian, the way a Sagittarius does. I didn’t drive, but that wasn’t a problem for me, because when I was tired of the world, and when I needed privacy, I would get my cigarettes and a couple of bucks for another pack of cigarettes and maybe food too, if I had enough money and was so inclined. [It was the 1990s and we all smoked back then, and nicotine-supported anorexia was normal where I came from, and I’ve stopped both for quite some time. My drugs are caffeine and the little trace of alcohol in my daily kombucha, but who are you to judge me? Okay, this line of questioning is over], and get up and walk.
I’d go to one end of town to the other. There wasn’t much that was new to see, or much that I had never seen before. In fact, it wasn’t really a big town, maybe two miles across, but I was free. There was quiet, and there was privacy. There was no accusations, no screaming, no yelling, no fighting, no hitting, no dramatic meltdowns, no fear of a sudden mood shift from someone who could hurt me for reasons I couldn’t even begin to try to understand other than it must somehow be my fault. There was peace — this, I figured, was the kind of peace, privacy, and autonomy most people take for granted and for some odd reason, want to flee from, always knowing they can go back to it.
I would find fossils in the rocks along the rail road tracks and on the shoreline of the lake. I would follow the river that cut through town. I’d walk on the perimeters of the little shanty villages by the prison and the water dam. I’d cut through cemeteries and church yards, and then through parking lots. I’d read the sign posts and the flyers. I’d look into the windows of the boutiques. I’d go to Wegmans and sneak food out of bulk bins and drink from the water fountain. I’d do the same at another grocery store in a different part of town, then walk to the edge of town and into the countryside or the wilderness of the land that urban sprawl forgot.
I’d walk through cornfields. I’d walk through patches of poison ivy, unscathed. I’d pick black raspberries in the summer and lilacs in the spring. It was the solitude that I had longed for my whole life, the solitude I wasn’t allowed to have, the solitude I was told was selfish and wrong. No judgment, no barriers on thought or feeling, and no shallow caucus on whether a thought or idea was good.
It would be many, many years before I would really ever learn to make friends who actually like me for who I am, who would also want to spend an afternoon rambling through the forest or a city just farting around as a mutable sign does, and when I found them, I didn’t know what to do with them, so I lost them.
And now I am accustomed to moving through life without worrying about who will be there on the journey or at the destination. I may actually be more alone now, technically, than I have ever been before, as I am estranged from almost all my family and I have a very tiny support network that probably won’t last my lifetime, and I may never have children and build a network. I don’t go to church. I don’t mingle with other astrologers and woo practitioners. I don’t go to writer’s workshops or bar association events.
But I don’t necessarily feelalone, just like I didn’t feel alone as a wandering teenage girl, because I had me in all the full splendor of my unedited, unabridged self, and I had the world that would still meet my feet and support me every step I took in whatever direction I went.
That’s Neptunian, that dissolution of boundaries. Do you remember Christopher Thomas Knight, the hermit in Maine who spent 27 years hiding from people while stealing from their cabins in the middle of the night to support his lifestyle of hiding from people? The guy didn’t even light a fire in the dead of winter (in Maine, over 27 winters) to keep others from finding him, but survived as a leech on the community near him? He’s a Sagittarius; his chart is overwhelmingly mutable, too. I don’t know his birth time and am guessing as to the location, but he has a lot of outer-planet influence, including Saturnian influence:
Yet, look at that retrograde Mercury opposing his Moon. Mercury is communication and connection of the minds, the Moon is emotional and primal connection.
In an interview that I’m sure Knight now regrets with the ever-tenacious Michael Finkel, he described his sense of self, and it’s so Neptunian:
“I did examine myself. Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there…There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.”
That’s purely Neptunian. It’s not Saturnian erosion, nor is it Uranian explosion or Plutonian implosion. It’s pure Neptunian dissolution, and I remember fleeting moments during my long pastoral treks in which the internal dialog and the loop of feedback of voices disappeared, and then it was just me, the wind, the trees, the sky, the birds: this is what mindfulness feels like.
I’m not a hermit, not in this lifetime. I don’t actually want to be a hermit, and I know this because when I’m alone and wrapped in quiet, I think about people, or people-related things, or things I want from people and things I want to give people. It’s not loneliness, because that implies some sort of longing for something one is not certain they will get — and I can have the time and attention of people. I probably already was a hermit, or an isolated person, in another lifetime. I’m sure I spent many lifetimes locked and hidden away from others by force or by fear or by custom: cloisters, hospitals, isolated homesteads, prisons, ships at sea, cults, leper colonies, whatever: if there is reincarnation, and if I reincarnated, it’s likely that I was a person on the edges of society, observing but not participating. This much I figured from my Draconic and my prenatal epoch chart.
This lifetime is supposed to be laying a foundation for some sort of family, a brand new one through which I’ll likely incarnate again, because I’m not done here. There’s work to do, and there will be more to do when I leave.
I know that I don’t want to leave the cycle of samsara, if it exists. I did before, but I don’t now. LI like my personhood, even if I have struggled in the first half of my life to find people who actually like this person, or to figure out what this person is. I think I will like my subsequent personhoods. I don’t know what they’ll be like, and I can’t prepare for them because they don’t exist yet.
And somewhere amidst all of this — actually, at the center of this, with all other things in its orbit — is my actual career, my profession with a capital P, but I’m not so sure I need to write about this now. That’s a separate struggle and a separate joy.
Sometimes, I look in the mirror and am amazed that at this age 1) I’m still alive and well, 2) I actually did become a lawyer, 3) I have a job as a lawyer I like, and 4) I look young enough to pass as a young lawyer. I am still young though, right?