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Observations: The Rewards of Disillusionment

Neptune themes have been all too common in people’s lives recently and with a Full Moon in Neptune ruled Pisces today; the foggy one has been on my mind. He can lead even the most rational of us off into la la land and for those susceptible to Neptune’s brand of Romance, disillusionment is almost sure to follow.

Why is being disillusioned a good thing? Because once we’ve let go of the impossible dream we can begin to reformulate our ideas about what constitutes a good workable relationship based in reality. You know the kind between two people who like each other, warts and all, the sort highly recommended by Saturn in Libra. There are those who are unable to let go the illusion of a perfect love and every time their hopes are dashed, denial sets back in and off they go in search of the person they are sure is their soul mate. By the way, this is classic behavior for the commitment phobic . . .

Some natal indicators for potential Neptune inspired problems include Neptune opposed to the Sun, Moon and Venus, or Neptune on the Descendant. Trines and sextiles between those planets can fall into Neptune’s rose-colored trap on occasion but usually they are able to pull out of it. The reason the opposition is so important is because relationships are about the “other” and so much easier to project upon. In this age of meeting people online instead of in person, creating a marvelous fantasy relationship around those individuals is dead easy. It doesn’t help that so many people can’t resist “improving” the photos they post or seriously editing the information they give . . . very, very Neptunian. In politics, it’s called spin. For meeting potential lovers it can be downright stupid. After all, the plan is to meet face to face at some point, right?

How can we determine what makes us susceptible to Neptune’s illusions? The planet he aspects can offer insight. If it is the Sun those issues may stem from our relationship, or lack of one, with our fathers (or male authority figures) and the Moon points to mothers or other strong female figures in our early lives. Venus and Mars often mean buying into the concept of romance portrayed in the media. Aspects from other planets can bring out different facets too. For instance, I have a natal Moon-Neptune conjunction sextile Saturn and Pluto. I got carried away with misplaced nurturance among other things . . . following my mom’s example of co-dependence.

What can you do if you are the person at the center of someone else’s fantasy life? Just be as matter of fact as possible and reinforce your personal boundaries at every turn. Hit them over the head with the reality of who you are as frequently as possible until it looks like the message is getting through. If you don’t, you may end up contorting yourself to fit into those expectations and I can just about guarantee resentment will build up to the explosion point all too soon.

Saturn is still in Libra until October and is ready to remind everyone of the value of having open, honest, equitable relationships that endure because they are based on two genuine people who see each other with clear eyes. Contrary to popular opinion, Love is not blind . . . though it is occasionally willfully ignorant.

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Observations: Pluto + Neptune – Double Trouble or Creative Genius?

As usual, I’m just now waking up to a transit to my natal Neptune . . . after Pluto spent February, March, April and most of May exactly square to it. It’s like I when I look at my chart and check the transits, my eyes skip over Neptune! Natally Neptune influences my chart through a rather wide conjunction to the sensitive Moon in addition to a Saturn-Pluto conjunction sextile my Moon.

When I checked this transit on Astrodienst (who use Robert Hand’s interpretations), it was sort of helpful. I did agree with this statement:

During this time you will have to cope with powerful outside forces that seem to take no regard of your individual ego. Your individuality will not be challenged so much as ignored, unless you stand in the way of these forces, in which case you may have some extremely discouraging experiences.”

And this:

Another side of this influence is that hidden aspects of your unconscious mind may flare up and begin to influence your life now. Elements of your personality that you prefer to keep hidden from others may become so evident that you can no longer avoid them.

The only solution, therefore, is to deal with them. They are probably not as bad as you think anyway. It is not their intrinsic nature but repression that makes them seem bad. Now you must throw away the past conditioning that makes you reject these perfectly valid aspects of yourself.”

The first part about the individual ego being ignored is certainly part of any Pluto transit and the more we pit our puny human selves against Pluto’s forces, the deeper the hole we must eventually dig out of. I know I’ve said this before and will probably do so again but acceptance of who we are, warts and all, is the key to survival. If we were perfect we wouldn’t be here . . . right?

It’s the vagueness of Neptune I have the greatest difficulty with and because of the connection to the Moon, it’s often emotional junk surfacing. You know the kind of junk that wakes one in the night and involves running worst case scenarios through your head? Hate that stuff! However, Pluto is pretty insistent this kind of thing get processed.

In the process of mulling over Pluto’s effect on Neptune, I also realized how Pluto can take one of Neptune’s day dreams and make them seem real. If you are an artist, obsessing about your next work, the ability to imagine your completed project in great detail is a real bonus. However if one is obsessing about a romantic relationship to the point it feels like the real deal (and you barely know the person) then it’s not so good. Best take a step back, take a reality check and do what you can to divert your attention as I discussed in an earlier post – Living with Pluto & Obsessions.

If you have natal aspects involving Pluto and/or Neptune to your personal planets of any kind, you may wish to monitor your current crop of obsessions for appropriateness. I use this energy both for creative projects and when I’m working with a client’s chart. During the time I’m writing their report, it can feel like I’m having a real conversation with them even though it’s all in my head.

Do you have Neptune and Pluto aspects to personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus or Mars) and how do you feel they affect your life? If you have either Neptune or Pluto aspecting your personal planets AND have one or the other of these outer planets hitting your chart by transit, it will create a similar situation.

By the way, Pluto is back conjoining my progressed Mars ONE MORE TIME! Can’t seem to escape him these days . . . :D

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Scorpio New Moon, November 5-6, 2010


Scorpio is a sign unusually effective at working behind the scenes and setting the stage for presenting the fait accompli. This New Moon at 13° 40″ Scorpio on November 5, 2010, 9:52 PM PDT (November 6, 2010, 12:52 AM EDT) is a very good time to get to work in this manner.

Between this lunation and the Full Moon in Taurus on November 21, three planets will station direct starting with Neptune on November 6 immediately after the New Moon. Venus and Jupiter both go direct on November 18 (a date to circle on your calendar) and as they get up to speed, we will start to see some serious forward momentum. Yay!

The Sabian symbol for 14 Scorpio offers us a good suggestion on where to focus our efforts at this time. It is “Telephone linemen at work installing new connections”. All forms of communication are highlighted and making sure those communications are reaching their intended audience in a clear, effective manner is very important. However, it is also necessary to listen for the real truth in those messages which leads us to a discussion about Mercury.

Mercury in Scorpio is noted for the ability to penetrate to the heart of the matter but in this chart it is exactly square to Neptune in Aquarius. Will this square make it easier to confuse and delude or will the edginess bring clarity? We will find out one way or another after Neptune starts picking up speed going forward. I have a vested interest in this aspect because Mercury is conjoining my Ascendant with Neptune in my third house . . .

Another aspect to Mercury is a trine from Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces, very exciting and potentially creative. How well we can take this energy and use it to good purpose depends on our willingness to be open-minded and think outside the box, otherwise with Neptune whispering in our ear, we could fall prey to our pet delusions. All I can say is double and triple check the facts and make sure your information is coming from as unbiased a source as is humanly possible. The snake oil salesmen are going to be out in force and some of what they have to say will appeal to our most cherished hopes and dreams but have little to no basis in reality.

Another planet making a significant shift is retrograde Venus in Scorpio. She will return to her home sign of Libra on November 7 with a huge sigh of relief, and remain there until she goes direct. When Venus does return to Scorpio on November 29 at least she will be direct, making her somewhat more comfortable.

Do keep in mind Venus is capable of making quite ruthless decisions, especially in Scorpio, about what’s of value and what isn’t. Don’t be too surprised if you look back and realize you have surgically incised some people from your life during this retrograde that REALLY needed to go. A sextile from Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler, to Venus in Scorpio forcibly underlines this.

Scorpio’s co-rulers, Mars and Pluto, are in Sagittarius and Capricorn respectively and consequently make an awkward semi-sextile. Mars in Sagittarius is focused on moving and moving fast, living in the moment after escaping from controlled Scorpio. Pluto in Capricorn’s cool, calm, no nonsense approach frustrates this Mars no end. The message here is to accept your limitations with grace and work within them.

It is worth noting the only close aspect to the New Moon itself is a semi-sextile from Saturn in Libra. If you are contemplating taking a new direction then Saturn is there to remind you of the importance of careful planning and preparation.

All in all, I recommend holding off on going public with your new projects until after November 18 when Jupiter and Venus go direct. Nourish those tender ideas in private and establish your connections so you can take full advantage of the positive rush of the two beneficents moving forward once more. Remember the Sun will be entering enthusiastic Sagittarius on November 22! :D

Image: Great shot of the New Moon behind leafless trees but I am embarrassed to say I haven’t the foggiest idea whose it is and where it came from . . .

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Ask Real Astrologers: Did I Miss the Career On-Ramp?

This week’s question comes from Stan in California:

My finances are shot, I’m collecting unemployment, and I have no interest in getting my license to start my own private practice in clinical psychology, as I have “burned out” on being a clinician. I want to make a shift to academia for the intellectual stimulation and challenge and be in a place where I can teach. I know I have the ability and experience and that I need to refresh my knowledge base. Yet, in the last six months, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough, read enough, or retained enough to feel to feel as knowledgeable and as confident in an interview as I felt when in grad school. All I know is that I don’t feel like I’m making progress. Have I missed a sign post and thus headed in the wrong direction? I feel that there are some positive energies in play, yet I don’t feel that I have been able work with them. What am I missing?

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Stan, first let me say hello to a fellow Aquarius/Rising Aquarius! Second, I can tell you that your natal chart indicates an innate talent for psychology, and you can have a powerfully transformational effect on your clients. In fact, you might even be a little scary for some people, as you can see deeply into their psyche.

This also means, however, that you can burn out easily, as you may have difficulty keeping your own psychic boundaries intact. I would say, off the top of my head, that your best solution is daily physical exercise. This will help you blow off the psychic clutter than you pick up from confused and wounded people.

If you’ve seen your chart, you may know that the rare conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune is taking place right on your Ascendant. This alignment is opening doors on deep healing. As you probably know from your work, this can be a painful process, and in your case, it is going to continue for the rest of the year. I don’t think you will be able to see your way clearly until this process is over. By next January, you will have a much better idea of your direction, and you’ll also have Jupiter in your first house to help you find great opportunities for advancement.

Aquarius is the sign of the future, and many of us are ahead of our time. I believe that your unique role will be in finding new perspectives on human psychology that will help heal humanity, starting with yourself. One of the topics I’ve written about extensively is the wound between male and female energies on the planet. You have a close conjunction of Venus and Mars in your first house, and Uranus (your ruler) currently is transiting these planets. Uranus is the Awakener, so I believe that you will be awakened to the dual nature of this energy in everyone, and this new information somehow will be of great use to you in your practice.

The very best of luck to you, and thanks for writing!

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Stan, as Pat noted Jupiter-Chiron and Neptune have just crossed your Ascendant and are now in your first house. The other transiting planet in your first house is Uranus in Pisces, currently stationing at 26? Pisces preparing to come back over your natal Mars-Venus conjunction. This is a great deal of activity in your first house stressing the possibility of doing a major overhaul of your image among other things.

Your natal Mars-Venus conjunction is also the tip of a Yod, or Finger of God, with Pluto in Leo in your sixth house sextile the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Libra in your eighth. This pattern pulls together the elements that make you an excellent psychologist from compassionate Pisces to transformative Pluto and to have Uranus about to make its second pass over the tip, it makes complete sense to me you feel the need for change. The third and final pass will come during the first three months of 2010.

It is likely Neptune crossing your Ascendant has obscured matters because Neptune is extremely good at that. My recommendation would be to see if you can sort through the mish mash of expectations, both yours and those of others, over the next few months and see if you can work with those that put you, the nurturer, first. This is all part of an ongoing theme in your chart where Neptune and Uranus are pulling you in different directions. I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of nurturing the nurturer but this is my sense of what’s needed now.

Perhaps when Jupiter moves back into your twelfth house at the end of July and reduces the cacophony in your first house, it will be easier to find your sign post. Jupiter is pretty darn loud at times.

Best of luck in finding your way into academia!

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Ask Real Astrologers: A Direct Hit from Neptune-Jupiter

This week’s question comes from Jan in Brisbane, Australia:

The triple conjunction of Chiron, Jupiter, and Neptune is happening on my Ascendant at 25 degrees Aquarius. What do I need to do?

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

This is a great question, Jan, as it allows us to talk a little bit about this year’s Jupiter-Neptune conjunction. The Saturn-Uranus opposition has been getting all the press, but this very important conjunction — which, as you note, also includes Chiron — has some serious implications, and with your Ascendant at the hub of the activity, you are going to witness the effects firsthand.

Like most outer transits, this one will have three parts. The first pass occurs on May 27 at 26 degrees Aquarius. The second falls on July 10 at 25 degrees, and the third and final pass is on December 21, the Winter Solstice, at 24 degrees. The first conjunction occurs just as Neptune and Chiron are turning retrograde, making this conjunction all the more powerful and far-reaching. The second two passes occur with the Moon also in conjunction, so their energies will be further amplified as well.

How this conjunction will affect individuals depends on where it falls in their charts and whether it forms aspects with key natal planets. In your case, I see no cause for concern and every reason to be hopeful. I’ve written a lot about the conjunction of Neptune and Chiron being a powerful healing agent, both for individuals and the collective. Jupiter’s energy promotes expansion and growth, so we can expect that deep healing will lead to personal growth. In your case, there even may be opportunities to help others heal and grow.

I see two ways that you can take advantage of the positive side of this conjunction. First, if you have any unresolved issues from childhood or from your family’s past (we do carry these in our energy field), you can work on them during this time with a minimum of disruption. Those of you who have undertaken deep healing work know that it can interfere with your normal day-to-day activities. I see less chance of this happening with Jupiter in the mix.

Second, this is an ideal time to help others. If you are in a healing profession, you could have an extraordinary influence on your patients or clients. If you aren’t in a healing profession, find some way to do community service work. This could be anything from donating food or time to organizations that help the poor, to tutoring students who are behind in their studies. Or, find some other way to use your skills and talents to help others along.

This also is a great time to study astrology and other metaphysical subjects. Just take care that you don’t get involved with any groups that promise results such as money and love without having to do anything to earn it. Sitting on the couch visualizing money won’t cause any great harm to anyone in the long run, but it would be an unfortunate waste of the good you can do with this powerful energy that will be channeled directly into you.

Stay in touch and keep us posted!

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Hi Jan, what I see as the greatest challenge with this transit is keeping some perspective because Jupiter is likely to inflate Neptune’s wonderful ideas for the betterment of all, and your Taurus Sun likes consistency with solid, well thought out plans.

Neptune transits to the Ascendant can be tricky to navigate due to a lack of clarity about how others see us, and how we see others. Projections and expectations can crop up unexpectedly and leave all parties shaking their heads and wondering what the heck just happened. Frankly I don’t believe Jupiter will be of much help with these issues and may even add to them. I’m of a mind Jupiter acts more as an amplifier than as a beneficent.

Chiron’s role here may have to do with bringing to the forefront the uncomfortable differences between who you are at home (your Taurus Sun in the fourth house) and the way others see you out in the world (Aquarius rising). Once those issues are highlighted, then healing is possible. You have already experienced your Chiron return, and during July 2009 when Chiron is conjunct your Ascendant, Venus will be conjunct your Chiron by transit – sounds favorable to me!

As someone with a preponderance of earth and water, Jan, staying calm and focused in the moment may be the ticket. The rulers of your Ascendant and your fourth house, Uranus and the Moon, are trine in earth signs giving you a natural sense of how to handle the unexpected.

Hey, please let us know how this transit goes for you! We always love feedback on the real world events in people’s lives because that is how we all learn more about the inner workings of astrology.

Good luck!

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