by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Neptune & Damocles Direct: An Odd Couple, Coupled


If we were just talking about Neptune going direct, it would be an astrological moment of note. We could discuss how Neptune is the outermost (full fledged) planet in our solar system. And as such, how Neptune symbolizes the edge and end of our personal comprehension.

  Ever-shifting clouds on Neptune suggest planetary weather
systems, the strict mechanics and composition of which are
not yet known - photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

If we were just talking about Neptune going direct, it would be an astrological moment of note. We could discuss how Neptune is the outermost (full fledged) planet in our solar system. And as such, how Neptune symbolizes the edge and end of our personal comprehension.

Objects beyond Neptune we experience (for sure!)...but we don't seem to 'hold onto' them as qualities or  quotients in present tense terms. My father once told me a story which seems apt in describing this: when serving in WWII he was in Egypt and came up with a toothache. Dentistry being relatively primitive as compared with today, he felt a little less than joyous as he approached the dentist's tent - from which came intermittent screams of pain.

As he settled apprehensively in the chair, he tried a little joke - not that (according to him) the dentist seemed impressed with much...not even the idea of performing dentistry pretty much in the shadow of the pyramids.
I bet you don't get many volunteers for repeat business, dad quipped.

The dentist fixed him with a world-weary stare. Sergeant, the only reason dentistry survives is that the human mind has no memory for pain. 

Which is true. We know what pain is, we remember how we may well dislike pain very much. But the feeling of pain? That doesn't stay. Nor should it, if you think about it. After all, if we could 'remember' hurt with any degree of actual pain, the body/brain system couldn't use pain as a primary warning signal. We react to pain because it hurts and we remember how we don't (or maybe do) like pain when nothing actually hurts.

That 'memory/non-memory' quality...the knowing without present tense security or clarity...that's the essential Neptunian dilemma. Thus we ask...Is it? Am I wrong? Or we know for sure...then find out we 'knew' nothing; reality was a whooooole other thing!

When any planet is in retrograde, it functions on a subliminal, internalized level. So over these past months since Neptune went retrograde at the very end of May, we've all been going through our 'what to do?' and 'who to be?' and 'where to go next?' and 'how to make that work?' thing.

We have been challenged by our very doubts and indecisions.

Now as Neptune goes direct, it is not our doubts or quandaries which challenge us, but real life situations which in coming at us, provoke indecision....questions of value. The world, by its nature and through daily life confronts us with the need to weigh our options and consider what's right or workable.

That's what we'd do if we were just talking about Neptune.

But we're not just talking about Neptune! We're talking about Neptune and Damocles. Damocles goes direct first - at 10:51 (UT) on November 6, 2010. Neptune follows less than 24 hours later at 6:05 (UT) on November November 7, 2010.

And considering this is Big Blue Neptune we are talking about, this suggests the whole of the weekend of November 6 and 7 is going to be one long Damocledian-Neptunian to/fro sort of experience.

Part of this has to do with how similar - in some senses- these two points can seem to be. We've discussed Neptune in part and if you'd like to read more about Neptune, I refer you to the Daykeeper Journal archives, where you will find a lengthy two-part article on Neptune, a heap big planet with heap big metaphysical as well as celestial mechanical effects. Here's the LINK .

For those who would like to read a full-length article which includes a full discussion of comet Damocles, that's available too (LINK).

Don't want the whole Damocledian tap dance? Fine - then here's a freeze-dried version, starting with the fact  that Damocles is not a planet. Nor is it an asteroid.

Nope...Damocles is a comet.

Comets don't go 'around' the Sun like planets do. So they don't define factors which are part of the proverbial 'cycle of life.' What comets do is cycle from one (outer) point in our solar system to some other (inner) point in our solar system - a metaphysical picture of 'bringing' some idea 'to'....or at least 'towards' us.

In this case, Damocles' outermost point is beyond Uranus (change). So it represents concepts which are beyond changing. As it cycles inward, it passes Uranus, suggesting that its message brings 'a change.'

Then it moves past Saturn, entering the realm of what is humanly visible with the naked eye from Earth and thus 'within grasp' (part of our reality).


 Saturn (computerized coloration) 
photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After that, Damocles passes Jupiter and passes through most of the asteroid belt which circles the Sun between Jupiter and Mars. Since asteroids represent factions and attributes of thought, personality or experience, Damocles' association with any such point gives us clues as to what thing which is beyond changing is going to bring a change to how we think of things.

This very much goes with the story of Damocles, too, as said story is - in short - all about how simple we often think the lot (or life) of someone else is until the job of dealing with all the parameters lands in our lap, hands...or wherever else it might end up.

In the story, Damocles is a courtier who thinks the job of being King is a piece of cake until he's given the opportunity to try it on, at which point he realizes that a sword is suspended right above the King's head.

We all know this's easy to talk about love or responsibility or leadership or parenting - or anything else - until all the costs and time and parameters become apparent. And they never are when you're just an onlooker.

Besides...who likes trying to do something difficult with a sword poised to fall and puncture their skull, heart and anything which may lie below and beyond?

  An 1832 Artillery sword 
photo credit: Dverckis those are the components of this moment. But as cook will tell you...or as any artist will say about colors, or any do-it-yourself'er will tell you about epoxy, when you add two things together, you often get a whole other thing.

And true to Neptunian nature, that's true...but sort of not true in this current situation. Since Damocles is about a recognition that change of a nature we are not free to tamper-tinker-or-otherwise-alter is now ours to deal with, with Neptunian on station the lesson is about accepting and dealing from a lesson of acceptance.

But let's be real. When life hands us a lesson about not changing things and about acceptance, what's that likely to mean? Does it mean that things are all peachy keen or that things are tremulous, confusing, nebulous, unsettling or otherwise out-of-hand, out-of-control or out-of-bounds?

The answer is pretty obvious, right?

Okay. Then that's the first big clue to this weekend.

Second clue: since Damocles is inherently about a realization and Neptune (especially when on station or in aspect to your personal chart) is about letting go of whatever aspect of ego is involved/which is provoked, whether or not the dynamic arises because of what someone else says and does...the issue is about how you/we react. And yes, you could easily say 'well duh - it always is!' but that's where you would be not getting the metaphysics involved here.

The lesson here is that yes, we have to recognize. And yes, we have to not be just about ourselves but able to take into account the greater situation, complete with self and other people and greater social/societal complexes (this last coming from the fact that both symbols are in Aquarius).

But most important is this: we will determine now what happens going forward. Those who cannot accept, who refuse to recognize any 'sharp point' being shown them, who are unable to get out of the way of their own ego will do what they do.

And everything will fall apart, fail them, or otherwise become something totally other than they had planned on.

THAT's the point of this double-barreled station-direct. Will we be driven by unaltered/unalterable personal convictions which 'design' life as being only about our own point of view, whether or not that includes ourselves and others in equal measure? 

Neptune is all about the dissolution of ego - but not of Self. That's important to remember here. Sacrificial lambs are not called for. They're not even recommended here. Aquarius and Neptune (interestingly enough) are both about the ability to honor the Self as valid and other selves and the collective as equally valid. 

Sound confusing? It should, because it is....which leads us to the last and best rule of all whenever and wherever we see Neptune doing its magnetic resonant thing: as said by astrologer Robert Hand, where Neptune is concerned about the best thing you can do is allow yourself not to know. 

The greater the allowance you find it possible to make, the greater the possibility. Of what? Of all which is possible. Yes, good and bad - which is part of the test here. How well do you tolerate not knowing what will happen where feelings are at stake or matters evocative are in the offing?

With Chiron having gone direct on the 5th, it's station effects last through November 7th. So necessity is in the mix here too. That Damocles goes direct first says that we 'get the point' then deal with how well we handle all which comes of that.

Damocles station effects run through the 8th, and Neptune's station effects run through the 9th. That's a good deal of time to be dealing with whatever is being put to us, or held over our head.

Whatever happens, it may pay to remember that in the end we're all only human. And yet, that would be why what we do or choose or let go is what ends us costing is greatly or paying us happy dividends as the sun rises in a new day founded on new ideas and new understandings of who we are and what actually matters.

 Sunrise in Jamaica
photo credit: Adam L. Clevenger (Feb. 2005)

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