In the midst of writing this yesterday, I broke from my norm and added more. I’ve written several pieces on Neptune already. No surprise. While some of you may moan and groan at this god of the sea, please ignore any winces and whines that may sound as if I don’t adore dear old Nep! It’s just sometimes…well, this is where I move to the next paragraph for consistency in what I’ll share next.
Neptune moved to retrograde on the 13th. My not having mentioned it for nine days makes Neptune no less present in my life. I’m usually aware of these shifts as long as a month before and for up to two weeks after, as I suspect many of you find true as well. Yesterday, however, was somewhat spacey for me, but it was also eerily magical, both in a fairly good way. The door was open for additional peeks amidst what is best described as cloud walking. (Definition coming, I promise!)
In the morning, Leah Whitehorse, a dear friend, had posted a picture of a flock of geese on sun-filled emerald grass. I wondered if it was a painting (she finds some marvelous ones!) until a mutual friend suggested with so many on the grass outside her window, Leah should check the Sabian symbols. This was an actual photo! I put aside any mild shades of envy lacing the joy I shared with Leah at that moment:
I hadn’t looked at the Sabians in a while and grabbed my copy of Lynda Hill‘s 360 Degrees of Wisdom: The Sabian Oracle and the deck of cards Lynda created as well. Shuffling the cards as I would the Tarot, I looked for a glimpse of the day ahead so I tried my own version of cutting them. Keeping the blue intact and the red in a separate pile, I pulled two–the top and cut side–from the blue deck and then did the same with the red, keeping each–top to top, cut to cut–in their respective places and got Leo 9 and Pisces 19.
LEO 9: GLASS BLOWERS SHAPE BEAUTIFUL FORMS WITH THEIR CONTROLLED BREATHING
“Commentary: ‘Glass Blowers’ are shaping ‘Beautiful Forms With Their Controlled Breathing’. They have to be craftsmen of their art in order to be able to make the forms ‘Beautiful’. They must take care and work with precision to have their ‘Glass’ objects take shape and be pleasing to the eye.
“Oracle: This Symbol is about understanding the spiritual flow involved in creativity. It is also about the wonderful things that can be done when one has a great depth of understanding of what one wants to achieve. It can also signify the things we might leave behind that symbolize or act as reminders of significant moments of our lives. These memories are fragile and dependent upon how well they are cared for. Your inner spiritual energies can shape your situation into something worthwhile now. It is only with the controlled use of these energies that you will actually be able to craft this situation correctly. It is important, however, for you to let go of any fears that what you do may not last. It is the act of creating something beautiful, from the heart and soul, that is the point of our participation in life. Be careful not to let your imagination get out of control; the mind can be responsible for warping reality to fit our thoughts. Connecting with the unknown depths of unconscious experience is often reliant upon the control of ‘Breath’. Practicing breathing meditations and learning about diaphragm control can take one’s whole existence onto a new level of being. Watching what you breathe life into can be very illuminating. Focus on what you’re creating with your life. Are you ‘Shaping Beautiful Forms’ with your creations?
“Keywords: Being able to create beautiful forms out of nothing. Prana. Singing, performing. Buteyko breathing method. Sculpture. Beauty. Breath meditations. Artisans. Rebirthing. Extreme care and detail. Lungs. Respiration = creation and inspiration. Pouring life into creative visions.”
All my feelings have the color you desire to paint – Rumi
I initially wondered what Leo 9 had to do with the day beyond my writing and my not being certain of which article to finish first. And then I spotted the quotations Lynda uses in the book, and a friend immediately came to mind nearly out of the blue. In all fairness I had had a brief exchange on her timeline the day before yesterday so one might think it was mere coincidence. It wasn’t. I thought of her, and there she was! We don’t usually have an opportunity to speak two days in a row. So I think I have to disagree with the possibility of its being coincidence. Here’s what I said:
“In all techniques, whether we’re speaking about art, writing, tennis or any other skill, practice is the key to perfection. I was discussing this the other day with a tennis player and learned this is also about “muscle memory.” Sounds funny when we think of art in this category too since tennis requires the arms and legs to remember what they need to do. But your fingers, your hands, they too need to adopt a certain position in order to create just the right stroke, the right strength or softer nuances to make it happen. Is this not also then muscle memory? For that matter, even the art of making the perfect dosa would require such things too.
“I love your art! You know that! And nothing thrills me more than to see you plunging in here with this extraordinary passion!!”
Her sister replied, saying I’m “so encouraging.” “Just speaking a basic truth na. As you know, people have frequently praised my writing but I’ve never been pleased with it. Still, the more I write, the more I appreciate the turn of phrase here and there. I don’t care for everything I write,” I answered. “That may be impossible to achieve. But it’s a never ending effort: one must keep doing in order to achieve.
“Even you have been discovering this with your composting and gardening efforts.”
One might have thought the first conversation was over at that point. And yet all of us can be reminded here of the invariable connection we have to our lives, our worlds–regardless of where on earth or in space, cyber- or otherwise–through the silver threads of life, past and present. We can speak about the six degrees of separation, but we’re still all in this together. The following quotes made me begin to see this happening:
“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” – Emile Zola
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his picture.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Our connectivity brings to mind how we start at the core of humanity. We are all connected through our heartbeats to the greater conscious even if we’re not fully aware of it at all. Whether we’re writing, painting, gardening or are following any other creative pursuit, we dip our brushes into our own souls and paint our nature into whatever those creative pursuits may be. I turned to the second Sabian symbol:
PISCES 19: A MASTER INSTRUCTING HIS DISCIPLE
“Commentary: ‘A Master’ is ‘Instructing His Disciple’. He is giving his ‘Disciple Instruction’ on how to handle life in the spiritual, intellectual and emotional realms. The ‘Disciple’ must listen to all the ‘Master’ says and teaches and must learn from his example. There’s an old saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”. It could easily also be “when the student is ready, the lesson appears” – there are many ways to learn life’s lessons.
“Oracle: This is a time for the transfer of higher knowledge and wisdom. In this situation you may find that you are the teacher, the ‘Master’, or the pupil, the ‘Disciple’. Remember that it is often the teacher that learns and the pupil that teaches. Perhaps it’s time for listening to your own higher wisdom. The teacher can inspire great personal achievements through teaching the wisdom that the ‘Disciple’ is ready and willing to learn. These lessons can be on many levels, from the purest of teaching and education all the way to downright emotional manipulation: the teachings that are being passed on can be used to elevate or manipulate the thoughts and emotions of the ‘Disciple’.
“Keywords: To give and to receive. Lessons that need to be well learnt. The transfer of knowledge. Taking time to instruct others. Being willing to both teach and learn. Step-by-step lessons. … Gurus. Guiding lights. Reinforcement of knowledge, wisdom and spirituality. Listening and learning.”
Again, I allowed my eyes to drift to some of the quotes Lynda had shared:
“Knowledge increases in proportion to its use—that is, the more we teach the more we learn.” – H.P. Blavatsky
“Teach thy tongue to say I do not know and thou shalt progress.” – Maimonides
“By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn.” – Latin Proverb
“I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better than book or orator.” – Goethe
“Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher.” – Buddha
“There’s an old saying, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears’,” Lynda wrote. “It could easily also be ‘when the student is ready, the lesson appears’,” brought to mind a conversation I had in Orkut several years ago when someone said to me, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I had said in response, “When the teacher is ready, the students appear” and at some point back then, I’d also mentioned how I felt teachers and students often trade places to learn from each other. Until I read the words of the Latin proverb above today, I honestly don’t recall ever having seen them outside of that previous conversation before. Such perfect timing triggers my own awareness of these inextricably woven ties we share.
I’ve spoken about my cloud walking, but please understand this isn’t about me. It’s about all of us in our becoming aware of Self and others. Neptune is so much more than our being space cadets at times, or so spiritual that we’re unaware of the world around us outside of that spirituality. (Not that spirituality is bad, mind you. Of course it’s not!) This is about integrating ourselves with the world just as we need to see the chart as a fluid, always moving, always shifting part of ourselves, or the person whose chart we’re reading–even if we’re considering a mundane chart. The chart cannot and will never be comprised of several single bodies neatly categorized into perfect little boxes remaining separate from all of the other neatly packaged categories you might have by house or sign, planet, luminary or aspect.
Forgive my repetition here: The chart is like a fabric of tightly interwoven threads. Pull one, and you weaken the fabric. My preferred description is far more like what Neptune inspires in me–the babbling brook as it rushes over pebbles and rocks. The water hits the rocks, splashes out of the still flowing water rushing by and returns to the brook a moment later. I suppose we can compare the flow of water to transits or progressions. Both would be true especially since transits always move at different speeds. The Sun’s zodiacal cycle takes 365/366 days as compared to Neptune at ±165 years and Pluto at ±248. These kinds of details are as important as our understanding the chart’s fluid energies.
We may note as I frequently do the Peeling of Life’s Onion–the hard aspects of Saturn and Neptune–and the struggle to wade through muck and mire at the same time we’re getting bruised and battered by life. It’s a delicate balancing act:
Saturn “insists” on our seeing the cold light of day, and we’re convinced we thought we knew what was real only to have that reality fade or blur into a new one. Is this real, or was what we were thinking real? Do we actually know what’s real anymore in the midst of the blurred once-sharply edged photographic black and white image that rivaled Ansel Adams’ best, or are we dancing a romantic waltz in futility between what we think and what we imagine?
I could speak about other transits but it’s only fitting that I speak of this one since I started at Neptune. Some folks get confused about retrogrades as if they’re going to operate in more mysterious ways than revisiting something we may have missed, overlooked or still need to experience and learn. Certainly learning is a big part of the process.
We learn when we’re examining transits, progressions, even natal charts. The signs are there, but studying the chart and the fine tuning–aspects and additional influences –always reveals far more than many might believe. Three signs will nearly always point to the focus we need. It could be spiritual, physical, mental; it could focus on a single event or a series. Don’t make the mistake of thinking one aspect will ever be enough to say what’s before you in the process of analysis and interpretation.
It’s a matter of practice. Loads of practice and heightened awareness are the keys.
Most uncanny of all yesterday was my having realized why I was again focused on Neptune now–rightthen: Neptune was teaching me more than cloud walking. I apparently had picked up a few “signals” along the way–even one from dear old Nep! No, not another Neptune, but clearly one I was supposed to see. I’m not going to climb too far out on this cloud to tell you a second Neptune was found, but newborn exoplanets are worth some closer looks too…
Please note, part 2 is not my writing, which is why I’ve placed my copyright at the end of this part. Still, part 2 is part of the article all the same. I hope you’ll take time to peek in at the “Another Gift from the Cosmos!” section.