What is real and what is not?

Dear Friend and Reader:

That is the question of Mars conjunct Neptune, exact Saturday in Pisces and developing now.

On its way to an extended five-month stay in Aries (June 27-Jan. 6), Mars is passing by Neptune in late Pisces. While the conjunction is exact June 13 at 10:13 am, Neptune has a wide orb of influence, and Mars has been on its radar for a while. Pisces makes a particularly sensitive conducting medium for the aspect. We have been feeling Mars many ways the past few weeks: as protests; as police aggression; as restlessness after the shutdown/lockdown/quarantine.

Neptune represents the imagination, whether sublime or delusional. Sublime would seem to be in short supply these days, so we’re getting an abundance of something else, which I think calls for reflection.

Pisces has a boundless quality and Neptune is not interested in boundaries. The job of Mars is to assert itself, differently for everyone. The question is, what distinguishes how it expresses under any circumstance? Some combination of conscious use of will, unidentified motives, and environmental conditions.

Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Environment Drives Circumstance

Given the supremacy of Pisces and Neptune in this aspect pattern, a seemingly passive environment is more likely to be a driver of circumstance. This calls for mindful use of the will, and makes awareness of motives particularly necessary as we pass through this configuration.

Mars is the traditional ruling planet of Scorpio, and Neptune is the modern planet of Pisces. This scenario is playing out with a few twists in Capricorn. There, Jupiter (the traditional ruler of Pisces) and Pluto (the modern planet of Scorpio) are also in a conjunction. This is actually a triple, lasting most of the year. It’s played out since April 4, the first alignment; the next is on June 30; and the last is Nov. 12. So we get another form of Scorpio-Pisces blend, taking place in the sign Capricorn. This series of conjunctions is serving as a bridge.

Contrasted with current events in Pisces, Jupiter-Pluto "the exact same thing in a totally different way." Keep an eye on this witty parallel. We are most likely to notice the political realm of Capricorn and see the big drama that planets like Jupiter and Pluto put on (as it will be broadcast live). By contrast, events of Mars-Pisces are likely to be invisible and internalized.

Pisces developments are in the background; Capricorn developments are in the foreground. Both demand attention and appropriate response. The question is, which of the events we seem to be witnessing — mostly through a device — are real, meaning presented and perceived honestly?

One quality of deception worth observing is how often many people forget it happens: there was a reason for writing the line, "won’t get fooled again," and why the song is so popular. It tends to happen over and over.

This emerges from a need to believe, which is the kissing cousin of denial. That’s what we would be well served to suss out with Mars-Neptune-Pisces: what is that need and how does it manifest?

Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Subverting Belief, as it May Be Meaningless

The antithesis to this scenario would be to subvert belief itself. Set aside the concept and replace it with something like "confidence level in your knowledge." We are rarely 100% certain of anything, though there are thresholds.

Current events call for more than a cursory or emotional acceptance of a viewpoint, whether it’s based on what you thought was true as a kid, what your peers are supposedly allowing you to believe, or the party line. Generally there is colossal drama around perceived belief. Belief is popular because it’s lazy, but it usually comes at the price of being wrong. It is the original exploding tire.

Yet its existence has the property of being difficult to discern, which can emerge from living in a mild stupor or not wanting to commit to what you know. That commitment leads to the spiritual notion that "action is the fruit of knowledge," and the therapy-savvy "use what you know." Like, put it to work full time.

Necessity would drive these quests nicely, and curiosity would be a big help. One little problem we face both as a society and as individuals includes the ability to reality check. There is at the moment seemingly no way to pin down the four corners of what is so; what is valid; what makes sense. You need reference points, and you probably already have them.

They must be inside yourself, though remaining in contact with a few older, wiser people and lending an ear to at least one kid would serve you. There are people who can see through the fog. You will recognize them because they’re paying attention, and are not scared.

Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Interval of Decision

We now live in the interval of deciding what kind of society, and what kind of world, we want to live in. We now live within the delicate, transitory and formative moment between two major conjunctions: Saturn-Pluto on Jan. 12; and Jupiter-Saturn on Dec. 21. All the events between them (such as the ones described above) serve as a bridge between these two landmarks. We are on that bridge right now.

In terms of getting what you need: it will probably work better to be available than to be assertive. Available has a certain brilliant power when embraced on a conscious level. Know when you are, and when you are not. You may say either out loud; that will give both yourself and others a reference point.

Clue: availability involves active curiosity.

With love,

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