neptuneIf we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

– Pablo Neruda, from “Keeping Quiet”

Confused, overwhelmed, super-sensitive, exhausted? (Me too!) Neptune is stationing, appearing to stand still before reversing directions, and we’re being drawn into the dreamtime. Spaciness, mental confusion, Mercury-Retro-esque miscommunications and technical glitches – these are all Neptunian strategies to slow us down and turn our attention inward.

Neptune turns Retrograde on Friday (1:25 am PDT), but we’ve been feeling it all week – the need for less DOING and more BEING, less busy-ness and more rest, less assertion and more allowing. Neptune is the ultimate yin energy, considered the “higher octave” of Venus, the feminine.

As an outer planet, Neptune is a transpersonal force, connecting us with something beyond the individual self or ego. Neptune reminds us that we’re part of a greater whole, one with the infinite Source, and that the world of matter, what passes for “reality” in the modern West, is  “the skin of spirit, a permeable boundary between the dimensions” (Malidoma Somé, The Healing Wisdom of Africa). We access Neptune through silence and stillness, through art, music and dance, through altered states of consciousness, through acts of sacrifice and service that take us out of our own personal dramas and into unconditional love and compassion.

venusNeptune stations at 5 degrees Pisces, forming a perfect Grand Trine with Saturn (5 Scorpio) and Venus (5 Cancer). The Saturn-Neptune trine is a longer-term alignment that facilitates working productively with the invisible and unconscious realms. While Venus is in the mix for the next few days, pleasure, beauty, art and gratitude are portals into the tremendous heart-healing potential of this aspect.

The part of us that might resist surrendering to the watery goodness of the Grand Trine is signified by Mars, in a challenging square (90-degree angle) to Neptune. Mars in Gemini wants to gather information and think think think until he makes sense out of what’s happening. But when Mars meets Neptune, trying to figure everything out just leads to mental burnout, and more anxiety and confusion. Instead, we’re learning to adapt to living in a state of not-knowing, to practice simply being present, centered in our hearts, and respond to what arises in the moment.

At Saturday’s New Moon in Gemini (8:56 am PDT), the Neptunian tides are still high, and the Water element will be a strong force for the entire lunation. Mercury, Gemini’s ruling planet, is in sensitive, emotionally-attuned Cancer, and invites new beginnings related to security, nourishment, family and home. Mercury catalyzes the Uranus-Pluto square, suggesting a need to free ourselves from conditioned perceptions, habitual ways of seeing the world that block us from recognizing creative potential in the present.

For deeper insight into what the Neptune station means for YOU, find the house in your birth chart that contains 5 degrees Pisces. The areas of life represented by this house are where you’re invited to: let go of the illusion of control and surrender to the Mystery; acknowledge and explore your longings, dreams and fantasies; avoid the temptation to go unconscious and instead practice staying present and feeling your feelings.

gemini the twinsThe New Moon is at 18 degrees Gemini, and the house where it lands in your chart is where you’re being called to: deepen your sense of belonging and connection (first within yourself); improve communication and listening skills; learn something new, or return to a subject you used to love; heal feelings of insecurity. Remember that the Water element moves slowly, and is more concerned with the process than with the goal.

– Emily Trinkaus

p.s. For more ideas about how to engage with the Neptunian deluge… Super-intuitive Cancer astrologer (and my former astro-apprentice!) Mari Saint-Pierre started a new blog: Neptune’s Calling.