Sun opposition Neptune

Mercury's Grand Trine+Sun/Neptune Opposition

David Hawgood / Rock Arch in Diggory's Island

David Hawgood / Rock Arch in Diggory's Island

Mercury in Virgo joins Saturn and Uranus in an earth grand trine, alongside the Sun opposing Neptune. The mind is attuned to the mundane this week as it enters into a phase of extra efficiency. Plotting your way toward accomplishments, solving real-world problems, or tending to bodily needs/desires might take up a lot of our time and energy. Saturn's direct station can inspire proactive steps to free yourself from stagnation if you've felt especially static the last few months. 

However, the typical limitations brought by pure earth energy are not as dominant this week. Mercury trine Uranus offers fresh possibilities, unique perspectives, and novel solutions to all practical dilemmas. The earth trine synergy with Mercury helps with mental/communicative clarity. For enhancing competence and understanding, Mercury's grand trine is exceptionally fortuitous. 

While you may feel additionally motivated this week with all that you need or want to get done, the Sun's opposition to Neptune suggests that many things still evade our grasp. This weekend's New Moon is a natural period of rest and downtime, and its oppositional relationship with Neptune can feel like a need to step back for some of us. Neptune also infuses the numinous in all that we do, which can be a source of inspiration or outright confusion. 

In your busyness or worldly focus, don't ignore the subtle signs or synchronicities all around you. Take a moment to notice the mystery of the world and how little you understand it. A step back might sound counterintuitive, but it offers a chance to slow down and clarify a vision. Realize that your efforts have a higher purpose and that tending to the details always takes more time. 

Humility is especially vital in the next few days. Be forthcoming about what you don't know or understand. And Neptune the trickster can be a tempting route toward escapism, so be mindful of what you're trying to avoid. For those struggling with meeting responsibilities this week or with feeling overwhelmed, focus on the first step you need to take and go from there. Surrender to your desire for change and trust that each effort will get you closer to your goal. 

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Close, Yet So Far: Neptune Perigee

Image of  Neptune's rings  acquired by   Voyager 2   in August 1989; photo by NASA/Voyager 2 Team

Image of Neptune's rings acquired by Voyager 2 in August 1989; photo by NASA/Voyager 2 Team

Neptune and Earth are getting intimate. For the vastness of the solar system, intimacy is millions or billions of miles. For Neptune, that's 2.7 billion to be exact. Every year when Neptune makes its opposition to the Sun, its at perigee, which is a planet's closest approach within its elliptical orbit. Opposite perigee, is apogee, a planet's furthest path. I remember the difference using this mnemonic: apogee means "away," and perigee equals "pretty darn close." Neptune's perigee is exact Sept. 6, with its opposition to the Sun Sept. 7. 

However, you will not see Neptune with the naked eye. Like its symbolic nature in astrology, Neptune evades our immediate senses, requiring a telescope and a knowledge of where to look and what to look for (binoculars will even suffice). But you can also experience the archetype of Neptune as perhaps closer than usual, by looking within yourself, or by noticing the increase of synchronicities around you.

Neptune's opposition to the Sun each year symbolizes a clash or confrontation between the rational/conscious awareness and the numinous. In Neptune's positive face, we gain an understanding that the world we see and touch is not the whole story. Perhaps, over the last week, you've begun noticing the strangeness of things beyond what is usual. Synchronicity is a primary experience of Neptunian realities. 

When a dream symbol physically manifests in the real world, that's a sure sign you're experiencing a meaningful coincidence. Repeating numbers, themes, or names can be another way of witnessing synchronicity. What do synchronicities mean? Everyone has their interpretations, but for me, they're just little reminders that I'm a part of something bigger, and that this world is shrouded in one giant enigma. Through synchronicities, I feel only slightly closer to the mystery, yet its distance still eludes me. 

It's easy to get caught up with a micro-sized view of ourselves and our lives. Modern people are feeling increasingly alienated and alone. While the internet and social media have connected us, they've also left many devoid of a sense of meaning, or even meaningful, human relationships. When we tap into Neptune, we gain access to the knowledge that a strange reality exists behind the one we see. A true Neptunian experience is beyond words; it's an intuitive sense that we've made communication with something that bypasses rational explanation. 

With the Sun and Mercury in Virgo, Saturn stationing direct, and Mercury's earth grand trine, we are in the thick of the worldly earth element. And yet, Neptune's opposition to the Sun pierces through the veil to offer us a glimpse of something beyond what we can tangibly interact. With Neptune opposite the Virgo Sun, we have to find a compromise between reason and fantasy. Or we might glimpse that both are just as valid realities in their own right. Mercury's opposition to Neptune Sept. 13 carries this synchronistic thread clear through next week. 

The negative side of Neptune can seductively tempt us into distraction or escapism. With Mercury's earth grand trine, it would be a shame to waste this productivity flow while chasing an energy drain. The challenge of the moment lies in overcoming the heaviness of Saturn's direct station by taking responsibility for any limitations or hardships we face. Don't make yourself a victim. Step up and meet life, and you might reach more than you were expecting. 

Remain humble with Neptune opposite the Sun, and try your best to not rely on purely rational faculties. The New Moon this weekend captures this opposition and carries its themes for the next six months. A new vision is emerging, or perhaps a newfound sense of faith in your life purpose. To embrace and manifest this vision requires a slight modification of the ego and mind, so slow down your thoughts and the pace of life in any way you can. Surrender to the flow this weekend, and trust that you will slip into the right place (or at least a strange one).

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