Recently, a friend told me how she’d hurt her back after a difficult week. Not only had she been exasperated with her aging mother but she’d had a nasty argument with her partner. Playing the astrological angel, I relayed ‘important’ information about how transiting Neptune was setting off her natal T-Square – Saturn (backbone), Moon (mother), and Mars (anger).
- “All very interesting”, was her response. “But what am I to actually make of it?”
- Good question and one that I’d failed miserably to answer.
- Apologies to my friend & let’s try again, shall we?
A T-Square is an astrological configuration involving at least 3 natal planets locked in ‘conflict’ of some sort – the component parts of my friend’s T-Square break down as follows:
- Mars/ Moon – a strong personal will intensified by emotions and an inclination to sincerely act on those emotions. This tends toward being involved in quarrels whether or not of her own making.
- Moon/Saturn – self-control in regards to emotions – as well as a tendency toward being circumspect, considerate, and conscientious. This can, however, lead toward feeling inhibited and lonely.
- Mars/Saturn – military endurance coupled great powers of resistance. Concentrated bursts of energy to meet specific challenges that overtime will drain overall vitality.
Put these all together and we find a recurrent theme of inhibition, repressed feelings, constant underlying state of dissatisfaction. This is overlaid by intermittent bursts of energy to overcome difficulties that deteriorate back into an overall lack of determination. Drained vitality manifests in illness or injury.
In this T-Square, Mars and Saturn are in opposition to each other and both are in square to the Moon. This leaves the Moon as the ‘release’ valve for the compressed energy generated by the aspect as a whole and given that the astrological Moon represents the body as well as the ‘mother’, it’s understandable how my friend sustained personal injury in conjunction with frustrations involving her mother. That Saturn rules the bony structure (i.e. backbone) only makes sense – my friend’s injury was in her back.
The remaining piece of this astrological puzzle –and perhaps the most important – is what transiting Neptune has to do with setting this all off. After all, couldn’t it equally have been a different planet involved by transit and/progression?
Astrological Neptune represents the urge to transcend our separate self and merge with something greater. This something ‘greater’ can be society at large, the cosmos in general, or one’s personal sense of the divine. The idea is that Neptune urges us to ‘lose’ ourselves, dissolve ego boundaries and return ‘home’ – in this sense, ‘home’ might taken literally as returning to the ‘womb’ (where we had no separate sense of self) or more metaphorically as the ‘Garden of Eden’.
By transit, Neptune blurs/dissolves the boundaries between ‘self’ and ‘other’ in order to show us another way of ‘being’ in the world. It does this through dreams, deceit, deception. I liken this to the tarot trump card, The Moon, which depicts a desolate landscape that is both dreamy and eerily scary. In the Marseilles Deck, the picture includes murky waters in a moat complete with two barking dogs guarding the gate to a castle and a crawfish (symbol of the subterranean depths) with outstretched claws.
Undoubtedly this is an irrational world where the rational boundaries between past, present and future fail to exist. One might choose to look at the journey through this world as either a spiritual adventure or a philosophical consideration of meaning of Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave. I prefer to look at this psychologically – in the sense that there is something about the unconscious dynamic of her T-Square friend cannot face or otherwise does not wish to see.
Transiting Neptune has delivered my friend some much needed breathing space to come to terms best she can with issues regarding ‘mother’, ‘mothering’, repressed feelings and/or anger. Doubtless any insight garnered during this time, will benefit her relationship with both her mother and her partner. I also hope that it will help prevent further illness and injury.