June 21st ~ 28th
You see the mountain, and hill following after hill, as wave on wave, you see the woods and orchard, the fields of ripe corn, and the meadows reaching to the reed beds by the river. You see me standing here beside you, and hear my voice, but I tell you that all these things ~ yes, from that star that has just shone out in the sky to the solid ground beneath our feet ~ I say that all these are but dreams and shadows: The shadows that hide the real world from our eyes. There is a real world, but it is beyond this glamour, and this vision, beyond them all as beyond a veil. You may think this all nonsense; it may be strange, but it is true, and the ancients knew what lifting the veil means. They called it seeing the god Pan. ~ Arthur Machen (The Great God Pan)
The Solstice falls on June 21st, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and one of the important magical corners of the Solar Year. Here in the North, the fruit is growing on the vine, the days are hot, and we celebrate the fruition of nature’s bounty. It is a time of power and initiation, but it is also a time of family, home, heritage and culture. The Sun now enters Cancer. Memorialized at sunrise by the heel-stone of Stonehenge, Midsummer has been celebrated by burning bonfires to drive out evil, and to welcome prosperity and fertility.
This year, mystic and elusive Neptune stations retrograde on the same day as the Solstice, though in truth it has been standing still all week as it prepares for its retrograde phase. This is the culmination of a series of transits over the past several weeks since the New Moon in Gemini, while Neptune has been slowing down for its retrograde station. Planets seem to be even stronger as they station, burrowing in and creating a deeper imprint. Therefore, at these stations of Neptune, we can anticipate heightened sensitivity, feelings and vibes, both within our own psyches, as well as without. Our senses are heightened so that we see more, hear more, feel more. Our insights and dreams become more acute, if we are inclined that way. However, they can also become quite confounding.
Neptune also inclines towards glamour, and masks, deception and delusion. This tendency has been recently exaggerated due to the close square to Jupiter in Sagittarius, which can throw us off course and obscure our vision, rather than enhance it. We all have our own paradigms: those things that we believe to be true, which color our perceptions. As a result this can lead to the tendency to see what we want to see, and ignore the rest. And that is despite a very acute intuition being enhanced by Neptune. Jupiter/Neptune is also extremely idealistic, though not terribly practical. We reach for the stars with our heads in the clouds with this one. Thankfully, a Saturn sextile from the strong and pragmatic sign of Capricorn takes a bit of the wind out of our sails. And wisely so. So that we ask ourselves: Is this goal practical? Is it achievable? What is the more realistic choice? And as we explore our options, we may not reach perfection, but perhaps we can still make practical improvements in our lives, that are realistic and achievable.
This is a good time to work on those inner and outer senses: feel the wind on your skin, the light on the grass. Pay attention to your inner senses, the psyche, your inner voice, your conscience. All those inner senses that tune you in to what is going on within and without you. Pay attention to your dreams, as these are more likely to speak to you at this time. Seek inspiration. All the more so this week that Neptune stations, as Venus, the planet of beauty, joins the planetary picture as well, by forming a t-square with Jupiter and Neptune.
For those who are already sensitive in this way, this can be a period of psychic overload, so it is important to strive for balance. Neptune has domain over artists, mystics and visionaries. It also can cast a veil of confusion psychically and psychologically, and leave us feeling emotionally or psychologically overwhelmed. There are both positive and negative influences in the psychic world, and you will want to create a center of attraction for those positive influences. This is why it is essential to embrace the positive qualities of Neptune, and our higher more altruistic tendencies, by cultivating compassion, loving kindness; and avoiding anything that might make us more susceptible to the negative influences, such as alcohol and drugs, and denial. Be aware of people or situations that drain you psychically. Maintain appropriate boundaries. The key is to feed your psyche and spiritual nature during this critical part of the year that Neptune is retrograde (through November 28th), not drain it.
What Neptune Retrograde periods are good for, is internalizing these positive qualities of Neptune Therefore these periods are good for: Spiritual retreats; spiritual practices; swimming or walking by the sea; mind/body practices such as yoga, tai chi or Qigong; Ashrams, places of worship; dreamwork; meditation; art museums; places of inspiration; any museum; art classes; music; poetry; inspirational films; photography; the underwater world; acts of compassion; volunteerism; and transcendent experiences.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
~ William Blake
For next week’s horoscopes, click below: