by Sheila Belanger
This summer brings us a rare and unusual dance of three interesting celestial characters: Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron. All three are turning retrograde during a three week period at the start of the summer: Neptune on May 28, Chiron on May 30 and Jupiter on June 15. They are all in the sign of Aquarius and hovering close to about 26 degrees of Aquarius.
When a planet goes retrograde, it looks like its stopping and backing up. Planets don’t really move backwards, but they seem to stop and hover in a particular place in the star wheel from our perspective on earth. This action calls our attention to the place in the star wheel where they are shifting.
When planets are in Aquarius, they activate the role of the rebel, the one who is authentic, unique, alternative. Aquarius encourages us to think outside of the box. It’s about the collective and the tribe. Aquarius is an altruistic sign, in the true meaning of the word altruistic: orienting to others. Yet it also calls us to be true to ourselves as individuals, to be unique members of a collective.
So how do these three planetary characters play with the Aquarius energy?
Jupiter is a big gassy planet: it asks us to expand and open up. Jupiter in Aquarius says “I want to support your expanding your sense of the collective and the community. I want to help you take your place in your tribe.”
Chiron is a comet that represents the shaman or wounded healer. Chiron points out where you need healing. In Aquarius, the wound that needs healing is marginalizing yourself, judging yourself, putting yourself outside of the group because you feel you don’t belong.
Neptune’s gift is the ability to dream and vision. In Aquarius, Neptune can help us envision a new way to work together. The negative side of Neptune is a feeling of helplessness. “I can’t make a difference so why bother?”
The conjunction of these three planets is rare. The last time it happened was in September of 1945, at the end of World War II. Before that, it was in 1881. Chiron has a very unusual orbital period around the sun: sometimes short and sometimes long. Jupiter and Neptune come together every 12 to 13 years. Jupiter and Chiron come together every 13 to 20 years. Chiron and Neptune come together every 57 to 80 years. So this conjunction offers us an amazing opportunity.
It is a call to healing, a chance to change our vision in terms of the collective, to move away from a sense of helplessness. We saw this during the campaign and the election of President Obama. In a sense, this was his campaign message: yes we can, we can make a difference. And the economic crisis is encouraging more of the same attitude. We see that we need to make a change. And we understand that we all in this together.
These three celestial characters will go back and forth connecting with each other throughout the whole year. Jupiter (the teacher, the expanded one) conjoins Chiron (the healer) three times on May 23, July 22 and December 7.
Jupiter connects with Neptune, expanding our ability to dream, our intuitive, spiritual and psychic selves (as well as our victim and overwhelmed selves) on May 27, July 10 and December 21.
You may feel the call from your inner teacher (Jupiter) to come out of the fog (Neptune) and attend to some old pattern (Chiron), particularly a wound having to do with dissociation and escapism (Neptune). The healing can come from the positive qualities of Aquarius: staying true to your self, and the unique gifts you bring to the world.
Chiron has a link with healing the ancestors. So the wound may not be (just) a personal wound. Many of our ancestors struggled with addiction, found ways to escape from the pain in their lives, had to give up aspects of themselves just to survive.
One way to heal an ancestral pattern is to ask for help. You can call on your healed ancestors, ten, twenty generations back, before there was a wound. Ask them to help you, to stand at your back. You can also use Neptunian tools like prayer, meditation and sending compassion to your ancestors.
When you feel angst about your addictions, when you feel overwhelmed or victimized, say a prayer for your ancestors who felt the same way. Offer them love. Offer them light. It’s a way you can shift the pattern for yourself.
Aquarius is connected with technology because it’s about progressive, alternative ways of doing things. Because of the Internet and television, we are now connected to people all over the world. But the shadow side of technology and Aquarius can be too much information. There’s a psychic, emotional component to all of the information, especially the bad news, we are being bombarded with.
Aquarius tends to be a mental sign and that can lead to dissociation. We just shut down. When Aquarius energy is stressed, it tends to want to escape, to check out, to run away. How the hell to I get out of here?
One solution can be found in the compassionate nature of Neptune. Ask yourself: How do I keep my heart open in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me? How do I stay open and sensitive to the collective without losing myself?
Transcribed from a talk Sheila gave at East/West Bookshop on March 26, 2009. The complete tape which covers many other astrological cycles for Spring and early Summer can be purchased at www.sheilabelanger.net