by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, May 31, 2012

June 2-6: Neptune Embraces the Lunar Eclipse

 Planet Neptune
 (photo credit: NASA-JPL)

You may have heard the expression ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’? Well, though the term ‘damned’ is out of place here, there are a couple of things about Neptune’s June turnabout to go retrograde which have that perplexing, quixotic sort of feel which could make us all feel a bit in purgatory - at least with our selves.

First, the facts: Neptune will go retrograde on June 4th at 9:06 in the evening (in the +0/UT time, of course. You’ll need to adjust to your local zone!). What that means however, is that Neptune’s station effects begin on June 2nd…and maybe even late on the 1st, depending.

After all, we are dealing with Neptune here, and if there’s one thing Neptune symbolizes, it’s knowing that you don’t really know exactly for finite sure.

Two days before, two days after – that’s the standard stationing rule. So theoretically, Neptune’s station begins on June 2nd and extends through June 6th. Stations are important times, and if something was to occur during Neptune’s station, or if you were thinking it was going to happen and is doesn’t…this could be a ‘turn of affairs’ for you.

Though again, since this is Neptune, you wouldn’t know for absolute, positive sure. That’s the Neptune gift – and curse. Nothing is so terrible as it seems right now and nothing is as wonderful. Nothing is as finite and nothing is as empty as you might think.

Neptune is life's symbolic mirage.

 Mirages - something which appears to be true but isn't, are
entirely Neptune. Here the sun appears to be pouring
 into the sea...though we know it isn't true.
 (Andres Kuusk, April 2007)

The great Neptunian rule applies now more than ever. Neptune’s First Rule: allow yourself not to know. Accept the vacillations. If something nice happens, enjoy it. But don’t think the rest of life is going to be nirvana. If something unpleasant happens, it may be painful yes.

But there is something more you have yet to learn.
That’s a very curious quality about Neptune. There is always something to be learned. We see this idea most clearly through Neptune’s association as secondary ruler of Pisces – after all, the first ruler of Pisces is Jupiter. Usually considered a symbol of knowledge (particularly in its role as ruler of Sagittarius), the Jupiter which rules the entre to Pisces is the symbol of life asking us if we really know what we’re getting into.

This is where the Pisces ‘twin-fish’ thing comes into play. Let’s use falling in love as an example. We know that when we fall in love, we’re risking getting hurt. And yet the experience of love and feeling connected to and accepted by another human being is unparalleled.

It’s what we live for. You can have all the money in the world and if you don’t feel loved and loveable and accepted, you’ll still feel empty and terrible. There are plenty of people on this planet who have no money and lots of love.

Guess what – they’re happy.

That dotted line…the one between the illusion of happiness and the reality of it, that’s the Pisces challenge. Can you tell what in life is the illusion? Can you tell what is real? Can you tell the person who really likes you from the person who just tells you what you want to hear?

The difference – what makes one thing the illusion (whatever it may be) and the other thing the reality worth risking for…that difference, the thing which makes the bet worth taking? That difference has nothing to do with ‘them’ or that venture you might get into or that belief you want to live by…no, that difference has everything to do with your emotional integrity.

Dreams are Neptunian. Angels are Neptunian.
Are they real?
Frage an die Sterne
 by Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1898)

So ask yourself: how well do I know my emotional Self? And maybe even more importantly than that, do I know why I react emotionally as I do? Do I know why I think this will make me happy and that will make me yawn?

That ‘knowing’ is the Jupiter of Pisces. And depending on how well you know yourself – that’s what Neptune energetics are all about. If it’s disappointment, if it’s elation, if you’re moved by the plight of a child or an injured soldier…those qualities are your experience of your values. Your emotional values, and what makes your life here on Earth worth living.

That gratitude, that appreciation of life – or that despair – whichever you feel and whenever you feel it, that’s Neptune.

Having said that much, Neptune is going retrograde at 3 Pisces, a degree typified in the Sabian symbols as heavy car traffic on a narrow isthmus linking two seashore resorts.

There is goodwill in this degree, and a lightheartedness which can be the essence of true goodness. Then again, such good (or good will) can be frittered away under the influences of 3 Pisces, squandered through lack of appreciation for the gifts we have been given, whether by others in our life or simply by the grace of how and with what talents we were born.

Do you know which is which? Which you embody and which cards those around you are holding in their hand?

Neptune’s Second Rule: the thing you are sure is true probably isn’t true…and that you think really can’t be true is true.

The metaphysical logic behind this brings us to the Great Neptune Corollary: the best of Neptune is found only where and when our egos are not involved. This is the positive side of Neptune as love – real love is caring about the other person, not what you can get for yourself. Charity is Neptunian, as is spiritual devotion and any kind of caretaking, simply because they require that you have faith that your efforts will mean something.

You can’t know…you just have to do your best, then trust. You have to do what is needed – not what you prefer. The protocols of medicine are all Neptunian – as is healing and shamanic work. We bring our best to the effort yes, but our aim has to be the good of those we care for. Do no harm, the doctor is told. And when the doctor or the caretaker or the clergy person thinks of themselves first, we see them as having transgressed.

Neptune committed to its transit of Pisces only just recently – in February of 2012. As ‘outcome’ ruler of Pisces, all the ‘helping professions’ are going to come under fire and undergo a lot of changes during the 8 years or so that Neptune is in Pisces. And when Jupiter joins Neptune in Pisces come 2022, we may be assured we will see the best and worst in a lot of people.

But I digress.

(And I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m really not sure I am!)

Anyway…I told you that this station is a tricky one. And it is. Not only is it happening on the same day as a lunar eclipse, but Neptune is going stationary-retrograde while conjunct asteroid Lilith and fixed star Fomalhaut.

The lunar eclipse part of this means this is going to be a very emotional time. Some people feel lunar eclipses ‘coming on’ – generally a week or so ahead, so don’t be surprised if things start amping and ramping up about now.

But the Lilith and Fomalhaut part? Well, that’s just downright complicated. First we have Neptune on station. This is a very large planet with a bunch of parameters which together sound very odd. It’s surface area is almost 15 times that of Earth and Neptune has about 17 times the amount of mass (the ‘stuff’ of which Neptune is made) as Earth does.

But by volume, Neptune takes up 57…close to 58 times the amount of space Earth does.

In metaphysical terms, we might childishly ask if Neptune is “pretending” to be a bigger planet than it really is. And in a way it is (if we judge by how Earth is made)…but it’s perfectly valid as the Neptune that Neptune is.

Oh…and in spite of how big it is? Neptune’s day is only 16.11 Earth hours long. That’s one serious whirling dervish of a planet!

Anyway…back to Lilith and Fomalhaut (sorry…I get all excited when I talk about Neptune!) ….asteroid Lilith symbolizes emotional denial. Just what we needed to add to Neptune effects, right? So now we don’t know…and we’re supposed to allow ourselves not to know…and we refuse to acknowledge the truth about knowing but not knowing?

You see my point, surely.

The cherry atop this cornfuzzling sundae is surely Fomalhaut, one of the most important stars in our sky.

Fomalhaut promises success – in this case success when it comes to feeling good about who we are – IF our dreams, our goals, our intentions aren’t corrupt, corrupting or corrupted.

If they are, then plan on heartache – or whatever your favorite term for ‘majorly upset’ is.

If things go wrong, chances are you’ll be in denial that it was your fault. Oh no…it CAN’T be me…! There will surely be those who try to justify things which on the face of them would be rejected by a lab rat sleepy after eating a pound of sunflower seeds.

Seriously…expect some jaw-dropping claims about now.

On the other hand, this could be just the time for a party. Or a vacation – especially one where you don’t have any firm plans.

 Marina Beach, Egypt
by Haddara

Yet since somebody has to be minding the store, don’t be lax about where you go or what you get into. Remember – everyone is affected by these kinds of global transits. So everyone is going to be a we bit la-la.

The fact that there’s a solar eclipse on the date that Neptune goes retrograde highlights the emotionality of this time. If something does come into being or disappear now, you’re going to feel it.

Then again, it may not be real.

But your feelings are. And that’s the bottom line here. Whatever you feel now, it’s an emotion and you should feel it. That doesn’t mean you get to inflict it on anybody else, but the feeling is valid – and more to the point, why you feel as you do is important.

That’s the real crux of Neptune. Neptune educates through emotional provocation. Neptune dissolves and enhances so that we experience the full breadth of our soul and in that, come to know ourselves more completely. More realistically.

That’s also how we come to know one another. The more feeling we are, the more we understand how human it is to feel – and that everyone goes through the kind of things we do. Maybe not for the same reasons and certainly not in the same moments, but from the kings and queens and privileged of this world down to the most humble and deprived spirits living on our planet – our humanity is the constant.

And here’s a final thought: those who do have privilege, they often use their social position or their wealth to insulate themselves from a lot of life’s inconveniences. From the problems, from the grunge. Back when I worked in film production my crew friends and I used to laugh about big budget pictures because on a big expensive film, they just throw money at problems until they solve it. On a tiny budget film where every single penny is precious you have to use something else to get the job done.

You have to use your humanness. You have to talk to people. You have to make friends. You have to connect at that nitty-gritty point where you admit that you only have what you have.

 Sunset on Samurai Beach in Australia
photo credit: Warrenlead (Jan2004)

Every one of those films got made. And today, twenty years later, the people I still know from the film industry are mostly those I met on the tough films, the films which tested our ability to see each other through the grueling days and interminable schedules.

Where there’s Neptune, there is vulnerability, most of all to ourselves and what we can't do. And I’ve often thought that some of those little pictures were better films – and certainly better film experiences for someone working on them – simply because we had nothing but our humanity to work and bond with.

I have a whole bunch of comments on the lunar eclipse, but for a whole bowlful of reasons, discussing the eclipse separately from Neptune seemed to be the thing to do.

Or maybe I'm just human and didn't want to write that on top of having written all this today? That could be, too. And since it'll all post in good time, is that so bad?


  1. Yes Neptune is enough to ponder for analysis. "Neptune educates through emotional provocation" and "why you feel as you do is important". I'm feeling it, thanks for your support! Always love your images.

  2. Neptune, that whirling dervish of emotional provocation is reaching a fevered pitch in it's station, stillness in motion.
    "Love's a stranger to earth and heaven too;
    In him are lunacies seventy and two."
    - Rumi
    and I'm either going up or coming down to a high degree of madness. "All red in the world is from loves anger and all paleness is from loves poison. Love yields no remedy but (ego) death."
    At the fire of love the veils of ego are burned, that the spirit may be purified, intention be made true and not corrupted.

    Great post with written and visual images, to Boot!

  3. @Kate...thanks mucho!

    The thing about Neptune which is so hard to deal with is the theory that there truly IS a reason for all things. When you follow that logic along it leads to some truly stunning realizations about the human vanity we call ego. And yet, it's that self same ego which serves to cue us to protect ourselves when necessary.

    The difference between those poles would seem to be the distance between the concept of NECESSITY and DESIRE, the eternal (astrological) discussion between the Neptune Precept and our Pluto Drives.

    Just one thing moderates that: Neptune (the planet) controls the operational orbit of Pluto, dwarf planet. So who are we really kidding?

  4. @Miss Nomer,

    An elegant quote, those Rumi lines. Thanks for sharing them. As for experience is that few people want to parse that thought. At it's purest, love should be about the other person - a lesson we find astrologically distilled in a point called Kalypso. When it's about what we want, that's manipulative (Scorpio). When we're acting merely in response to our inner drives, the conscious part of that is Eros (passion) and the unconscious part of that is TNO Typhon (instinctual lusting).

    To accept that we are human and are swayed by such things? That's Neptune. And it may well be that Neptune's position as the last planet out there (in our solar system) defines the 'boundary' between our Self and that which promotes or provokes our learning about that Self (Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud objects).