Whence – Where – Whither
Part 1 – Whence
As our civil calendar turns the page to a New Year, it seems most fitting to look back upon the year just past so that we might better understand from whence we have come; to consider where we are now; and to look out ahead and see if we might discern more clearly whither we are going.
Regardless what the planets and stars may provide, we must always remember that although they are the Avatars of the energies that inform and guide our lives, it remains for us to determine what use we will make of these “Gifts of the Spirit”. As the great bard, Shakespeare wrote in his play Julius Caesar:
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
It is upon each of us to do our part, to listen for our “voice of the silence”, our higher self, our spiritual compass, and choose how we shall strive to make ourselves better and so create a better world for those who come after us. How these energies play out, as they surround, inform and hold us as one to one another, depend upon the development of our spiritual triad, our Wisdom-Love-Will. It is by our self-unfoldment or spiritual growth that we may more gracefully embody these energies, and find our way to their best application and most beneficent manifestation.
The most consequential Astrological alignment for 2016 was the square between the planets Saturn and Neptune. Their cycle, from conjunction to conjunction, is about 36 years in duration and they will form their most challenging aspects, (conjunction, waxing square, opposition and waning square), roughly 9 years apart. Their most recent cycle began at the conjunction of 1989, leading to their waxing square of 1998 and to their opposition of 2006-07, and finally to their waning square this past year, (they will start a new cycle at their conjunction in 2026).
Their serial revolutions articulate the relationship between Order (Saturn) and Dreams (Neptune), or Reality and Fantasy, or Responsibility and Sacrifice. In the realm of Mundane or Worldly Astrology, of Political-Economic-Cultural phenomena, it is interesting to note that the three most recent conjunctions of Saturn and Neptune, perfectly align with the birth of the USSR (1917), the Cold War (1952-3) and the collapse of the Communist order (1989).
For Person-Centered Astrology, for you and I, whenever we experience these alignments of Saturn and Neptune, we should see it as an opportunity to examine how closely we are holding together, in a meaningful and responsible manner, the delicate and integral balance between our dreams and our reality. There are precious moments in any one life, or in the lives of a people, when their dream becomes reality. But there are those despair-filled times too, when the chasm between reality and the dream is (seemingly) unbridgeable.
There are those precious moments in time and space when what we believe and what we experience are in greater resonance, so that what we imagine our world should be like is what we indeed encounter. And there are times, such as this past year, when what is “really real”, what is undeniably a “fact” and what is fictional (or false) become hopelessly confused.
What are we, (or what were we supposed), to do when faced with such confusion and misunderstanding? The square aspect between two planets quite literally calls upon us to face this these two Avatars, in this case Saturn and Neptune, not with fear or apprehension, but with a renewed and Reasonable Faith combined with a Compassionate Realism. We need to bring the two Energy-Forms together, for that is the path of Spirit, the Integral Path, for it is by this that you will find and forge a new or better way. We should embrace this and every such turning as a necessary challenge and opportunity for growth.
If all the Great Teachings are true, then the entirety of Creation is Spirit. If so, then the one constant of this Universe is Growth. Then it follows that the other constant of this Universe of Spirit is Change too. We need to consider how we can find a Pathway that helps us to continually clarify our Dreams and to fold them into an ever more meaning-filled Reality. We need to find a way through both our internal divisions and the divisions between one another, so that we might heal the divide between our present Reality and our Hopes and Dreams for a better world.
Since Neptune is the dominant influence, (being the outermost planet), the challenge/opportunity was for each of us to allow Neptune to help us to slip beyond our assumptions/certainties about the nature of our reality and at least imagine (if not come to understand and believe) that there were other dreams and realities that are co-present and co-existing. That all of these sub-realities, from the smallest to the largest “Dream-Realities”, are part of the One, the Greater Reality in which we truly abide.
Part of Neptune’s way is to dissolve or eat away at the fabric of our perception of reality so that it can be re-formed, re-shaped and transformed into a more encompassing experience of what we truly abide in, that Greater Reality. Typically, we move from a period of certainty about our assumptions about our world into a period of doubt and misunderstanding. These will begin to grow and create greater dissonance leading to greater doubts, claims and counter-claims as to what is true or false. Finally, many if not most will find themselves in a state of great confusion and mistrust, doubting themselves and one another, as a commonly accepted dream-reality gives way because the bonds of affinity between individuals and groups dissolve.
Without a shared understanding, without an agreement as to what are the dreams we share and what is the reality we face, without this widely shared Dream-Reality, the shadows of fear and blame are unleashed. This breakdown in a shared Dream-Reality erodes our trust in one another, and undermines our shared sense of commitment to, and willingness to sacrifice for, the good of one another.
But do not “blame” the Planet Neptune. This Neptunian fog of dissolution is not here to bring about harm to you or your world. It is merely there to reveal what was and is becoming more and more apparent. That forever and always you and your world were changing, and you had reached a time which required a letting go of your limited assumptions so that you might find a way to create a more encompassing Dream-Reality for yourself and your world.
These Illuminations of Neptune are stronger now than they have been for a very long time, and that is because Neptune is currently moving through its own sign of Pisces from 2011 until 2026. The last time Neptune was in Pisces was from 1848-1862, and it was a time of great Spiritual, Artistic and Social transformation…and it will be so in our own time too.
Then as now the paradigm of beliefs shifted, and for a time the meaning and purpose of what should be the foundation of Dream-Reality was contested by individuals and groups. Certainly, it was no accident that here in America, it was when the awful crime against Spirit at the founding of our nation, the abomination of slavery, was confronted and ultimately abolished.
May you find a similar courage to face your shadows and fears today.
You can find your way forward by remembering to honor and to hold to the fundamental teachings that have guided you through the best and the worst of times.
May you find comfort and guidance in the great teachings, stories and lives of those who have walked these same paths that you must follow too. Their example of Wisdom, Love and Centered Will is there for you:
Be guided by the Wise Ones, who know there is no religion higher than Truth.
Walk the path of the Great-Souls, who practice the Wisdom of Love.
Find inspiration in the Lonely Ones, their Willing-Sacrifice honored by
the Angels and Devas above.
Listen for the Voice of the Silence, attend the gentle whispers in your Heart,
And you will find “The Way”.
Next, “Where are we now?”