As I woke on Sunday morning — halfway in a dream — my first thought was: What if I lost everything?
I had been researching the (always) fascinating astrology of someone in the news for this blog, but the mood of the early morning stayed with me and I decided to investigate that question from in-between sleep and awake. (1)
It seemed like it might be timely as well — today’s Full Moon is at 3°33′ Virgo; the Sun is with Neptune at 9° Pisces.
The Sun is moving towards Neptune; they meet precisely on February 28 and the Moon will perfect her opposition to Neptune tonight. Neptune’s sphere, presence, essence will color the days this week.
We are also approaching the total solar eclipse on March 8 (PST) at 18°55′ Pisces. The South Node and Chiron are also in Pisces, heightening our experiences of disappearance and loss, or susceptibility to non-ordinary states.
The Sun was in Pisces when I was born; as an astrologer, I have always been able to put a positive spin on Neptune, but I am not naïve about its troublesome side. Sometimes Neptune really does correspond with situations or life events that are difficult to bear. Some events in one’s life really do not work out too well.
What if I lost everything? This rather searing question is acute and personal for me: my natal Sun is at 8° Pisces; transiting Neptune has barely gotten past the Sun (which is pronounced, therefore, in this year’s solar return).
I have had some difficult life events recently, so pondering loss was not completely out of context. I first swept through the current situations in my life — challenging events, no doubt, like everyone else, but the depth of that question still haunted me: What if I lost everything?
I rather carefully walked through a familiar web of emotions (those places wherein it’s easy to get distracted or numb or indulgent — all manner of strategies to avoid just feeling) and did begin to remember the quiet and powerful waves of trust — I think it may be called faith too — that life is, indeed, holding us all in a most mysterious way. Loss is an inevitable part of life.
I also remembered the beauty of the early morning sky; for these past few months, I have stepped out my front door to see Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and sometimes the Moon. Mercury has been there too, but I don’t have a view low enough in the east to see him. That ability, to see the dark sky in its magnificence, uplifts my spirit enormously. (I love the day sky too; we have had gorgeous clouds in Oregon this winter.)
We know there are countless ways to invite a positive experience of Neptune rather than (only) being lost in life’s sorrow.
We have access to intoxicants of all kinds; mind-altering substances and plants (alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, psilocybin, cannabis, etc.) are part of our culture and accompany many into the interior life. These fall under the dominion of Neptune in his Dionysian garb.
We have a natural inner pharmacopoeia that can be cultivated directly through any of thousands of meditation and yoga or breathing techniques taught through the ages. We can also easily be enveloped with music, or surrounded by dance, from every possible genre or historical period, with merely a click.
[In a shout out to Moon in Virgo: let’s not forget the research that connects serotonin and other hormones that regulate emotions and mood to the digestive track — 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced and stored in the gut.] (2)
I have another method in mind too: Next year, as the Sun in Pisces conjoins Neptune in the sky, I will try to end up on a warm beach as some wise travelers are showing the rest of us on our iPhones. (Hello to Kate Plumb at a yoga retreat in Tulum.)
Luck, grace, or support may all be part of our inevitable meeting with this natural state of vulnerability. Dropping through the doorways of loss and disappearance and feeling one’s way onward can bring glimpses from the lands known to the mystics — moments of bliss or surrender — and a renewed appreciation for the delicate ever-present beauty of life.
There have been many eloquent writers on the subject of vulnerability recently. (3) Although it is a long period of time (2011- 2025) with many complexities and variables, astrologers recognize that Neptune in Pisces may describe a time wherein experiences of openness, inseparability, impermanence, and transcendence become very ordinary after all.
(1) Studying the language of the stars — from many frames of reference — is one of the greatest gifts in my life (i.e., at the moment, I’m trying to learn Zodiacal Releasing from spirit and fortune, thanks to Chris Brennan and my sister, Kate), but, for now, I’m putting aside my intellectual and analytic habit to stay with this feeling of being exposed.
(2) New York Times