I’ve found myself placing an unusually high value on “restorative time” these days, whether this is time spent unwinding in yoga class or simply catching some good zzz’s at night, so I recently decided that I was in the market for a new mattress, naturally. I was searching for something supportive and yet soft enough to make me want to leap into the bed with glee at the end of a long day, but before making this investment I decided to do some investigating – there’s so many bedding options out there these days that looking into the pros and cons of all the different varieties on the market only seemed sensible. Inner spring, pillow top, pocketed coil, latex, memory foam, gel foam, air cushioned……the array of sleep possibilities are simply dizzying!
Now this got me thinking, because Neptune is the Lord of Dreamtime, so of course mattresses fall under his domain. And no matter where we turn, it seems everyone is trying to sell us on this ideal of “a perfect night’s sleep”. But I have to wonder if such an elusive, mythical creature even exists or if it’s simply a vague yet enticing concept cooked up by marketing gurus, designed to drive us in sleepless droves down to the mattress stores. And what does “perfect” entail, exactly? Because what’s perfect to you, me, or the guy next door are likely to be very different things indeed!
During the course of all this information filtering, I came upon an eye-opening statistic: Did you know that in a consumer report survey conducted regarding mattress manufactures, most brand makers only had customer satisfaction ratings around the 50% mark? That’s just crazy to me – especially when you consider the average person’s willingness to shell out good coin to get that “perfect night’s sleep”. In my research, I came across models that were 5, 7, 10, 20+ THOUSAND dollars – now when a mattress costs more than a new CAR (which has complex engineering that goes into all those moving mechanical components), something fishy (yes, that’s a Neptune reference) is most certainly going on!
Neptune is a planet of fantasy – it tries to sell us a dream. And that’s what happens when we go a-mattress-shoppin’ – everyone is trying to convince us the dream is real and that it too can be ours for the low, low price of just fill-in-the-blank. A friend worked in this industry years ago and once told me the markup on these products was something like 1000% (yup, you read that right) – I don’t think he was using hyperbole when he told me this, either, because he went on to admit that it was insane. This is totally a Neptunian thing, because Neptune is all about literal and metaphorical “bubbles”. Lo-Fi Neptune is slick and has no qualms whatsoever about presenting something in ideal lighting in order to falsely inflate its value. It abides by the old “A fool and his money….” adage and would like nothing better than to pull the wool over our eyes and run a con game. But rather than chasing waterfalls and insubstantial rainbows in the hopes of finding a pot-of-gold, any arena where Neptune holds sway is best served with a little discernment and critical thinking, as these serve as natural foils for this energy. Fact check. Do research. Don’t be pressured by gimmicks designed to make us think that something is “too good to pass up” or that we “must act NOW” (ostensibly, so that we don’t have time to do our homework and figure out that something is bogus). Look specifically for criticism that provides counterweight to the claims being made as well, because Lo-Fi Neptune loves nothing more than sprinkling pixie dust into our eyes so we see only what we want to see.
Though we can experience it as disheartening when holes are poked into something that previously seemed so wondrous and magical, a certain degree of disillusionment is obviously preferable to getting fleeced. It’s important when dealing with Neptune energy to bring our expectations down to earth rather than having to deal with the resultant *thud* that can come when the bubble bursts and sends us crashing down from high places. This will be an important theme in the coming year and beyond with Saturn in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces, and as my personal story in the realm of mattress shopping illustrates, any exercise that inspires a healthy degree of skepticism and that causes us to check our fantasies should be considered good practice now. Saturn in Sagittarius will form exact squares with Neptune in Pisces a total of three times between 2015-2016, and we can expect to encounter many circumstances during this time that present tests of faith. One of the primary lessons during this time will be about deflating overblown expectations, which can happen when reality and fantasy conflict. But we must also find a way to acknowledge and hold this tension WITHOUT becoming so despondent that we give up on achieving our dreams entirely. We are simply getting reality checks during this time to see whether or not our faith is well-placed or if we need to temper idealism with an increased amount of pragmatism. Here are the dates for when this influence will be strongest in addition to information about the degrees affected – keep in mind the influences of each square will be felt strongly for several weeks on either side of the dates posted:
November 26, 2015 @ 7 degrees
June 17, 2016 @ 12 degrees – This is big hit that also involves Jupiter in Virgo, as well as a few Gemini planets both before & after the exact square between Saturn & Neptune takes place.
September 10, 2016 @ 10 degrees
Needless to say, if we have planets located around these degrees, we’ll want to be very aware of this dynamic coming into play sometime during the next 2 years. If it’s our Sun being touched, questions about who we are and what we believe on our spiritual path may be at issue. Ethics may come into picture in a spiritual sense and we may be shown any discrepancies between what we practice vs. what we preach. Our relationship with our father or children (if applicable) may also be strongly flavored by this energy, and our perceptions about these relationships may be tested to see if we can tell fact from fiction. If it’s our Mercury being touched by these planets, the way we think, communicate, and relations with siblings, neighbors, co-workers, or employees may be subject to this same kind of testing. Venus may present love or money related lessons regarding where and with whom we put our faith – it could be a romantic union, business partnership, or close personal friendship affected, for example. You get the picture.
Collectively, we should all get familiar with the term “in good faith” and mull over what this term means to each of us as well as consider how we apply this principle in our lives. If it’s blindly so, we may see consequences arise sometime during these squares so we learn to question instead of always giving the benefit of the doubt. If instead we’re apt to err on the other end of this equation, we may be pushed to suspend disbelief and learn how to trust The Universe & its Infinite Wisdom for a change. While a certain degree of skepticism can be healthy when it allows us to “trust but verify”, if taken too far we may stunt our growth and understanding where we shut the door on opportunity and possibilities we never even knew existed because we’re too afraid to trust.
Aside from these squares, Saturn in Sadge by itself is also an energy designed to get us to check our excesses – if anything is “too much”, we’re likely to be asked by The Universe to curb it….or else. That’s how Saturn works – either we embrace self-control and voluntarily check ourselves when we’re getting out of hand, or we’ll be brought into contact with people or circumstances that more or less force us to do this anyway, and we’re not very likely to enjoy this when it’s “externally enforced”. It’s a lot easier if we just audit ourselves instead. We WILL get fair warning, however – Saturn is a hard, but he is fair. This “curbing of excesses” theme especially applies to “substances” of all types since Neptune has rulership over drink and drug alike and clashes with Saturn in Sagittarius via these aforementioned squares. So if we’re entering into this period looking for an “escape” of any kind, we might voluntarily put down the bottle, pill, joint, etc. as a precaution now (and if we can’t or don’t want to, that may be a sign that there is, in fact, a problem) because there’s a higher than normal likelihood of someone coming down on our case during these squares. It could be a parent, a teacher/mentor we respect, a boss, or it could even be law enforcement, but suffice to say if escapist tendencies are getting out of hand, we may get some kind of “come to Jesus” moment courtesy of these squares.
They say that past history tends to be a reliable indicator of future results, and history may actually give us perspective with these squares. Whether we had a parent with addiction-related issues or have ourselves inclined toward addictive behavior in the past, this need not dictate our future if we set self-imposed limits with an eye toward what is really in our best interests. Though Neptune may call to us with its siren song and try to blur our sense of what’s right and wrong for us, if we’re tempted to imbibe we might back up & see whether this may be in response to hardship. If we experience relief at the thought of cutting loose from the pressures of our job, schooling, responsibilities, expectations, etc., the likelihood is higher that we are, in effect, seeking solace via a substance and should just be saying “no” to ourselves instead. Mutable signs are most affected by this energy (that’s Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius, & Gemini) – particularly those with Suns located in the first 15 degrees of these signs. At the height of these squares – the June 2016 hit – health (physical AND mental) may be a big issue for those who have not heeded these precautions with Jupiter residing in Virgo, so figuring out how to live without self-medicating well ahead of this period is prudent. Hint: Tips for how to raise our awareness & manifest the Hi-Fi side of Neptune’s energy can be found in this post.