As we begin our journey into 2016 I find myself, as usual, looking to the astrological weather patterns to help me navigate the energy currents of the year.
And there is a particularly powerful transit that is now affecting everyone on the planet which is the Neptune/Saturn square.
For those new to astrology, a square is a 90 degree angle and denotes tension and conflict between two entities. This friction is related to the fact that the energies in question are usually incredibly disparate and not inclined to naturally play nice with each other.
The square shows up to induce them to enter into relationship with an attempt at integration.
There is a concept developed by the mystical psychologist Carl Jung called the transcendent function. He defined this as the process by which the unbearable tension between opposing forces creates something completely new.
And Neptune and Saturn are the epitome of the definition of opposing forces.
In the worst case scenario, two planets in a square will see-saw back and forth, vying for energetic dominance but not really ever learning how to work together.
In the BEST outcome the squared planets will combine their gifts to create a third entity.
Neptune is the dreamer. Our direct mystical connection to spirit and the invisible realms. Consciousness itself. The lover of all things fantastic and mysterious. It’s the capacity for knowing what we know without knowing how we know it. Neptune is an imaginative idealist and a visionary of divine possibility. It’s the higher octave of love and the dissolver of boundaries. It’s here to remind us that separation is an illusion and we are all one soul divided up into billions of different earthling bodies.
Saturn is the wise elder. The grizzled face of maturity. It’s what we mean when we talk about being an adult and claiming our own authority. It’s the willingness to take responsibility and the driving force of integrity. It thrives on difficulty and challenge. Saturn has its feet firmly planted in the day to day struggles of embodied life. It creates through relentless effort and sweaty determination and knows that nothing gets achieved in this third dimension without discipline, intention and a TON of elbow grease.
When you are doing Saturn right you are very likely exhausted but feeling a deep sense of satisfaction about what you have accomplished. Neptune calls you to higher levels of inspired visioning and the invitation to re-enchant the world.
Neptune is the formless. Saturn is form. Saturn is the reality principal. Neptune is the evoker of magic. Saturn is the map. Neptune is so far out there that the map has no meaning.
The shadow side of Neptune is addiction, illusion and confusion. It is the ultimate escape artist. And Saturn can all too easily default to rigidity, oppression and despair, taking on the role of tyrannical, authoritarian righteousness as a response to any problem that arises.
The dance of integration between these two mighty powers is particularly relevant as we attempt to deal with the massive challenges facing us in the world at large.
If we choose to only hang out on either end of this spectrum we will find ourselves in big trouble.
Neptune at its worst will keep our head in the clouds and our eyes fixed firmly on our naval, maintaining the fantasy that all we need to do is to keep imagining glitter raining down on all those complicated earthly snags and everything will work out just fine.
Saturn’s dark side can convince us that our problems are hopeless and impossible to solve in any meaningful way. And that the only available response to breakdown, chaos and unrest is to massively subjugate and control everything and everyone as much as possible.
But we desperately need the high side of both of these planetary wizards if we are going to find our way through so many of the messes that we are dealing with at this point in our collective history. As well as challenges in our personal lives.
What WILL get us through this narrow and turbulent channel is the hard work miracle.
We need a fantastically wondrous and compassionate vision of how we want the world and our life to become and then we need to roll up our sleeves and work like the devil to get there.
We must truly believe that we can create heaven on earth but we have to design a realistic and grounded plan for how that is going to happen.
We are being asked to dream big… maybe bigger than we’ve ever dreamed before … and then to bring boatloads of wisdom and maturity and integrity to manifesting that dream.
This is not the time for business as usual and allowing fear or delusion to run the show.
It’s a time of initiation into the wisdom of inspired structure as a spiritual practice.
It’s time to bring our capacity for imagining an earth filled with magic and connection and love together with the hard nosed willingness to do whatever it takes to bring that magical earth into being.
And more than anything, we are being demanded ( because squares are always incredibly pushy) to take on the challenge to transform ourselves into spiritual grown ups, magicians of the real, compassionate authorities, practical mystics, pragmatic idealists and wise visionaries.
Because those are the people who are going to change the world.