More on the Neptune/Sun combination…
When the Sun and Neptune combine we are generally faced with the overwhelming desire to fuse with something unspeakably bigger than ourselves. Fame, glamour, god, sex, art, and altered states alike, the Neptune/Sun combination inspires within us a kind of divine reaching and simultaneous discontent. It might be hardest to think of the form or shape or images of Neptune’s longings because we tend to describe Neptune in terms of words like “formless” or “beyond.” When we take these words too literally it’s easy to get swept out to sea, intoxicated, poisoned, hypnotized, or drugged. We get captured by the subtler layers of already subtle images and we forget the inseparability of our yearnings with the images…and Neptune’s images more than any others like to hide.
For example, the desire many of us have to “be in nature.” We might say something like, “I just want to be up in the mountains and away from the city lights. I want to see the stars. I want to see my breath in the morning and be surrounded by trees.” Although these are compelling images, it’s easy to miss the subtle body of these images (such is the power of Neptune). For example, seeing the stars, no city lights, or being up in the mountains, who is the one seeing the stars or walking the mountain trails? In the subtle body of these images we’ll find ourselves and if we keep describing, we might find more of Neptune as well. We might say, “It’s just me. Living in a country house. I have a fire place and a nice office. I drink my tea in the morning and I go outside and I can see mountains in the distance, and I can see my breath, and I can see the stars at night. All I have to do to see them is turn off the outside house lights. It’s that easy.”
Most of the time if we keep going “into” the fantasy or dream we’ll learn more about the shape and form of the image calling to us from the far shore. The further we go with the image, often enough, the more we’ll be able to see if there’s something hidden within the image trying to speak through the fog. For example, sometimes the longing for the cabin in the woods is discovered to be the voice of our desire for time off from work, deeper sexual exploration, or a change of pace or schedule and other times its really a call to move to the country. The point isn’t ever to reduce Neptune into something practical but rather to explore the dream images of Neptune to see if our fantasies have any metaphorical requests. Is there a cabin in the woods or a non-light polluted view we can open up right here and now? Can these dream images work as metaphors if their literal attainment isn’t possible? It’s a strange thing how dreamy Neptune is and yet how literal Neptune’s demands for its dreams can become. It’s as though Neptune’s resistance to anything other than the literal dream itself (it’s not a metaphor damnit!) is an ironic dilution of itself that creates a kind of self-irritation, hence Neptune’s relationship to hypochondria, rashes, skin
irritations, and allergies.
There’s always a challenge with Neptune to dream the dream along, as dream-tenders like to say. Don’t let the dream stop and suspend its longings over your head. Instead, once you recognize the dream, dream it along by fantasizing into the dream with questions. Ask the dream to speak or reveal a little more of itself. Otherwise, again, the dream’s tendency might be to coagulate into something more like an agitated storm cloud…it can drain, overwhelm, exhaust, dampen, depress and fill us with its own literalized fantasy irritations.
The other thing to watch for with Neptune and the Sun, in particular, are the dream images of the ego. Various fantasies of who we are or who we’d like to become can overwhelm us and we can easily delude ourselves into choices that will only serve to disillusion our ego later. The disillusions of Neptune have again to do with that very important activity of listening INTO or dreaming INTO the fantasies Neptune inspires. Because often enough disillusionment is something that simply reveals to us the subtle body of our fantasies, where we recognize the simpler vision or the metaphoric within the romantic landscape of a dream.
Last but not least, let’s meditate for a moment on the idea of psychic receptivity or intuition and the ideas of dreams and visions. Crucial to the development of psychic receptivity is the ability to see through the artificial divide between the dream state and the waking state. As the Neptune/Sun poet Mary Oliver once wrote about the nature of receiving a poetic inspiration, “[It] exists in a mysterious, unmapped zone: not unconscious, not subconscious, but cautious.” Neptune likes to hide. Or as Heraclitus once wrote, “Nature likes to hide.” When we try to retain ordinary consciousness in a dream the dream vanishes. When we try to take too much control of inspiration, it disappears.
When we try to interpret a dream, the dream itself deadens. Psychic receptivity is therefore not about “hitting the bullseye” or “hitting the nail on the head,” with some fancy gift or skill, its about the gentle allowance that lets the subtler bodies, Jung’s “thousand fish eyes,” come gently rising to the surface, fins quietly cresting and fast tails quickly splashing. Not lucid dreaming notebooks or psychic training camps but liminal living. The bullseye always alluded to, drawn forward, but never struck, lest we pluck out the very bull’s eyes by which we see.
Prayer: the simple bull, wading through the grass, watching the subtle blue stones as they rise from the river.
Image by courtesy of Geof Wilson, at creative commons image licensing