I’ve been asking the big questions for most of my life…..  Perhaps you have too.  Now in the third chapter of life (I see the Saturn cycles – 0-30, 30-60, 60+ as decades signifying life chapters) and there are days these days when I feel I don’t know any more than I did at 16.   Is it just me? Life is feeling surreal, weird, bizarre. Many of us have been using these words since 2020 as we’ve attempted to grasp what is going on out there – but it is impossible to understand. It seems to me that we are collectively hanging around in a somewhat precarious limbo.  If we have been paying the slightest bit of notice we know a massive financial collapse is imminent. We listen to experts and others telling us to prepare and the recommendations generally focus on self-sufficiency.  If we didn’t have the foresight before all this to buy a lifestyle property and start growing our own food – well, then, we can grow vegetables in our kitchens and on our patios.  Yeah right.  My success in growing microgreens has been patchy (houseplants – fantastic, but I refuse to eat them – they’re family) still, I’m reasonably confident I could supplement our diet with a few fresh nutrients.  The operative word is supplement. Much like a vitamin pill. 

The other recommendation to prepare for the financial apocalypse is to develop and nurture community. Nestled in a supportive community we will be able to survive with the help of barter or gifting. (Barter what? The crochet blanket I’ve taken four months to make?) For those of us who live in cities, community consists mostly of knowing a few people in the same street (to say hi to) and on-line groups of like-minds, scattered invariably some distance from one another.  As for money – well it’s all confusing and getting more so.  Do we close our bank accounts and convert numbers on a screen to cash?  But they want to do away with cash don’t they. How long will it be accepted for?  Who knows. Gold, silver? Manipulated like everything else. Cryptocurrencies, same.

Enough of all of that. We all know the scare stories.  Charles Eisenstein has been attempting to make sense of this ‘post covid (is it?) era’ in his recent essays.  The comments he has received make it clear – no one believes this is over.  We know the covid hoax was designed to collapse the financial system, leaving us weak and more easily controllable – and sick, thanks to the high priests of big med and their ‘life saving’ injections.  It feels as if we are sitting ducks. Stuff is being done to us and because ‘they’ have so much more power than we do, we feel, for the most part, helpless.

Is there anything resembling a remedy, or a solution, or a soothing balm perhaps, for this surreal, weird and bizarre time we find ourselves in?  It is a time of transition – that much is obvious – from a system, albeit a flawed one, but one we knew, to something totally unknowable.  It is the ‘not knowing’ that we fear.  Just like death.  All our beliefs and hopes about the hereafter add up to precisely nothing because the stark reality is we cannot know!  Just as we cannot know what is coming down the line towards us now. We can take measures to protect ourselves and there are plenty of advisors out there with suggestions to help us find the ways and means. But nothing is clear-cut. It’s all hazy, surreal and weird.  There is a strange comfort, I think you’ll agree, in this limbo time in disconnecting from the information frenzy and retreating to simple pleasures of self-nurturing.  Escapism in its various forms is understandably a strong temptation – and in fact, it has its place. Here’s why…….

In astrology Neptune and the sign it rules, Pisces, represent an archetype embodying the transcendent realms of escapism, mystery, spirituality, surrender, illusion – in short altered states of consciousness.  The archetype is also the signature for confusion, bewilderment, chaos – all aspects of the intangible realms and definitely featuring in our daily lives at this time.  Of note is the extended Neptune retrograde period we are now in.  On June 28 this year Neptune went backwards (from our perspective) in the heavens and will be doing so until December 2022.  When Neptune turns retrograde the veils that normally help to soften life, fall away.   Illusion shields us from harsh realities and there are times when we need this. Life in this mundane reality would be unendurable without it. (There is a very good reason why every culture on earth has sought the consciousness altering effects of fermented liquor and/or psychotropic plants.) The next six months then are likely to be a period in which the rose-tinted glasses come off and we are compelled to face reality.  The intent of this is ultimately to help us see true, to see the deeper meaning of the game of life and how we are playing it.  When the illusion falls away and we are confronted with truth, it can feel uncomfortable.  The discomfort comes because we have become creatures of the head, rather than the heart.  Nothing is making sense anymore and there appear to be no rational answers. No one can offer us any real comfort and certainty; the structural frameworks that normally help us feel secure are falling by the wayside.  Perhaps they were illusory anyway.  Now is a time for dis-illusion.  In navigating our way to the truth, the head will never do.  Now we must let our hearts be our guide. With Neptune retrograde, more so – it is time to trust your intuitive voice, the wisdom of your own knowing. Even when you can’t hear that voice and you really don’t know – be Neptunian;  make like water, let go and flow. Jettison the monkey mind and come into your body and your heart space.  Tomorrow, next week, things will be different. A new feeling will arise and you will see another facet.  For now, surrender. Surrender, Accept, Detach. (SAD – a positive take on the acronym).

We all have this archetype, or natural principle of Neptune/Pisces operating within our psyches.  In some of us the Neptunian vibe is stronger  (Pisces Suns, Moons, Ascendants – or Neptune powerfully placed) –  but we all have this need, to experience, at times to retreat into,  the realms of fantasy and imagination, beauty and a softening of normal everyday consciousness.  Given Neptune is operating on a different frequency for the rest of the year and the veils will be falling away, we are being nudged to consciously invite the dreamy, spiritual, mystical vibe of this archetype into our lives. If we do not, life may feel harsh, unbearable even.  Meditation, art, dance, music, swimming, micro-dosing with consciousness shifting plants…… are some of the ways we can positively and actively honour Neptune’s vibration.  Naturally there are many less positive ways we can ‘do Neptune’.  Binge TV watching, drinking too much. Anything where we are numbed out to the point of zombification – these are not helpful ultimately. Numbness is not the object. Rather, a shift of awareness towards the transcendent.  Neptune sensitizes what it touches. Music, art, natural beauty, whatever stirs your soul and evokes a softening, relaxing and releasing. This is Neptune.  Using the imagination to create, to bring into form –  a poem, a painting, a story, a sketch, a song, or an aesthetically harmonious living space,  are beautiful ways to express in our tangible world, the intangible vibration of Neptune.   Pisces and Neptune are the most spiritual of the 12 archetypal groupings.  As Aries, the first sign, is about new beginnings, Pisces, the last, is about endings. Neptune therefore is active at those times in our lives where endings, loss and grief feature.  With Neptune backtracking, not in itself an unusual thing (Neptune is retrograde 40% of the time), we are invited to reflect on the cycles of our lives and in particular whatever is ending now.   For sure, something is.  So please be kind to yourself, nurture yourself, immerse yourself consciously in the healing waters of Neptunian vibrations.  And trust the universe on this.  It is feeling strange and scary and so unclear, this precarious limbo time; but that is as it must be.  All will be revealed in the fullness of time.  For now, remember SAD – surrender, accept, detach. Flow with the energy of non-resistance.

I would like to leave you with some words retrieved from a notebook of noteable (to me) expressions of wisdom. The writer of this Neptunian passage is (or was)  Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.  I can tell you no more. His words speak volumes. Absorb. And may the power of the Mystery be with you in the Beauty to come.

“Someone asked me recently if I am afraid to die.  Truthfully, I am more afraid of not living my life fully – of living life dedicated to cherishing and protecting myself.  This fear-driven approach to life is like covering your couch in plastic so it won’t get worn.  It robs you of the ability to enjoy and appreciate your life. 

It takes courage to accept life fully, to say ‘yes’ to our life, yes to our karma, yes to our mind, emotions and whatever else unfolds.  This is the beginning of courage.  Courage is the fundamental openness to face even the hardest truths.  It makes room for all the pain, joy, irony and mystery that life provides.  We especially need courage to face the four streams of human life:  birth, old age, sickness and death.  A mother can’t say after nine months, ‘I don’t want to deliver my baby because I am afraid.’  Mothers do very beautifully.

We cannot say ‘I do not want to get old’ – we’re getting older day by day.  The way to grow old beautifully is to accept our ageing and do it well.  Everything is impermanent and comes to an end.  Every moment that comes into being is a moment of destruction.  If we accept ageing as a natural process of impermanence we will still have a sparkle in our eyes when we are old. 

We cannot say ‘I don’t want to die’ – everything that is born is subject to decay (and death).  We all need tremendous courage and acceptance on our deathbed.  No matter how much our loved ones care for us, we must leave them behind.  Clinging to them only makes our parting more painful.  We must make this journey alone.  Our death is part of our life.  If we accept and reflect on the natural flow of ageing, illness and death we will have nothing to fight or reject.  We will not be disappointed when confronted with the inevitable and we will have nothing to fear.  With an open mind fear can become your greatest ally – because facing fear means facing your life and facing your life means living your life.  You become courageous and victorious over the world of good or bad, right or wrong, comfort or pain.”