Excerpt from "Astrology for the Third Act of Life".
AGES 42-45: THE MINDFULNESS OF THE TIGHT-ROPE WALKER; THE NEPTUNE SQUARE AND SATURN OPPOSITION
These are the years of working with the changes you created at the Uranus Opposition. Now with Neptune square itself, and Saturn opposing itself you are working hard to embody the change you’ve initiated at the Uranus Opposition. You’ve moved across country? Now you have to make roots and friends. You’ve just had a baby? Now you’re experiencing the first few years of keeping that baby alive—a good example of Saturn in action here. And there are the inspiring Neptunian moments too when you look in your baby’s eyes and see how it has all been worthwhile. Is that God in there?
This is the first time we’ve mentioned Neptune; god of the ocean. Every transit has what I call an upper octaveand a lower octave of expression, and Neptune is a good example of this. In a transit we usually experience both the higher octave and the lower octave of its expression.
With Neptune we can see the archetype of the highest forms of spirituality: transcendence, compassion, creativity, and self-less love. And yet its lack of bound- aries can bring confusion and every kind of addiction imaginable. Neptune wants to find a sense of transcen- dence; of ease and relief from the mundane—is it having a drink? And then another one and another? Or will you take a walk on the beach at dawn to catch a glimpse of the swans in flight?
Neptune transits run the full range between great inspiration and hope, to despair; a higher octave expression and a lower octave. Usually we get a little mix of both, but often the strongest effect can be one of unclarity. You may feel like the fog is rolling in and you can’t see clearly; nothing is clear as the left-brain linear clarity gives way to the right brain imaginative intuitiveness.
You are not losing your mind or developing a case of early Alzheimer’s! Your brain is simply processing things differently.
If you lean away from fear during Neptune transits you can access the beauty and imaginative gifts of this time. Allow yourself to linger in nature, take photographs, do paintings, write songs and poetry and generally feed yourself as much inspiration as possible. Go to the music concert. This is “feeding the higher octave” of Neptune and you’ll feel the enchantment that comes with it. So often we have a choice between love and fear in our lives and we always benefit when we choose love.
Yet because we usually get all that Neptune offers us, undercurrents of anxiety may still occur as we deal with these transits. What is calling to be done now? How is this going to play out? Sometimes with Neptune it can feel like the bottom falls out of a very organized life. In that case, a careful Saturnian re-evaluation needs to happen because with the lower octave of the Neptune transit there can be a temporary discouragement; a loss of ideals, dreams and spiritual direction. It will return in time, after the Neptune transit has passed.
This is also the time of life when death and separation is not uncommon; sometimes parents may be dying or children leaving home for school. Or possibly the self- reinvention you did at the Uranus Opposition at age 41 may have been so radical that it’s taking time for you to find your ground again.
This is a transitional liminal period. It’s like being in the hallway between 2 rooms...you’re neither here nor there yet. Your next big life stage will be at the Chiron Return at age 51 when you turn your life experi- ence and your “wounding” into a gift. That is an anchoring time. But you’re not there yet. For women this is often a perimenopausal time.
It’s hard to rest comfortably in this place; these years often have that in-between liminal quality to them, that only patience can cure. Liminal, or in-between times, are like times of reaching for a poetic state of mind. This is the Neptunian element that relates to pure consciousness itself.
The Saturn opposite Saturn aspect now combined with Neptune is like a tight-rope between two fixed anchors, and you are the tight-rope walker. As you walk between them you see where you are going and what needs to be done; you strive for balance--patience and mindfulness are called for now; and Neptune will gladly give us that if we make that our intention.
As astrologer, Caroline Casey, once said: “The invisible world would like to help, but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask.” Whether we call this prayer or making an intention, the essential point is that it’s a process of asking, receiving and commitment. It’s about making an intention to ourselves and to whatever we might call our higher power, and not assuming that “God” knows what you want and need. Spiritual etiquette says we must ask for what we want. Caroline’s book: Making the Gods Work For You is a helpful book for under- standing the astrological language of the psyche.
More Ponderings from my Journal:
I forget the words she said that day as we were having coffee together. But they were similar to the Eliot quote I was familiar with: "It is never too late to be who you might have been." I've loved the idea of that quote all my life, but today it had a hollow ring to it, and I remember saying I liked Rilke's quote better: "And then the knowledge comes to me that I have space within me for a second timeless larger life.
We both grinned at each other, nodding our heads, as I quietly wondered how this might play out in my life-- because I was not making a career change or getting married or divorced. This felt to be more about a different kind of change—but maybe an important change—of making space within me for that larger life. What would that look like? (Continued in book....direct link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1727202198 )