Neptune in the Fourth Chakra
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Like Jupiter, Neptune is a natural catalyst to an opening of the heart, but in a slightly different way. In the 4th chakra, Neptune naturally erases the barriers of separation between us, and allows us to find our common ground. I mentioned earlier Pema Chodron’s idea that compassion is the understanding that we’re all in the same boat. Here I can add that this is the kind of understanding that Neptune can facilitate. All those clichés – love is all you need; love makes the world go around; we are all one – these are all Neptunian sentiments. Of course, any cliché can be just that – superficial, artificial and trite. But this can also be an actual experience of something real.
At its best, Neptune allows us to feel our way into the world dream, the idea that the world itself – Gaia – has a soul, called the anima mundi by the Greeks – that we can both partake in, and contribute to; the idea that we are part of something larger than ourselves; that life is spiritual journey; that what we do matters, that every ripple in the pond touches every part of the shore; that a butterfly beating its wings on one side of the world can set an earthquake in motion on the other side; that we are all connected; that we are not alone – all of these ideas and more importantly, the actual experience of them – are strong catalysts to the opening of the heart.
When I think of Neptune in the 4th chakra, I think of the Sufi poets: Rumi, Hafiz, and Kabir to name the most famous. These were ecstatic beings in love with God, with life, and with love itself, living in a drunken universe, saturated by love.
Rumi said, “Do not feel lonely; the entire universe is inside you.
“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”
“Dancing is not just getting up painlessly, like a leaf blown on the wind; dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds.”
“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.”
Neptune in the 4th chakra is a kind of divine madness, an ecstasy that melts away everything else. This is the wild healing power of love. It is also an experience that can’t be faked, for if the heart is not open, then divine madness is just madness – and we are subject to all the delusions and illusions of which Neptune is capable. As with all things Neptunian, it is tricky – and Neptune can also be a complicating factor in the 4th chakra. But when Neptune is involved in a 4th chakra pattern, there is this call to see things a different way.
As Hafiz put it:
You have been invited to meet The Friend.
No one can resist a Divine Invitation.
That narrows down all or choices to just two:
We can come to God dressed for dancing.
Or be carried on a stretcher to God’s ward.
Or as Bobby McFerrin once advised, us, “Don’t worry. Be happy.”
Neptune in the 4th chakra is also a call to deeper intimacy and ultimately to what Carl Jung called the hieros gamos – the divine marriage between inner masculine and inner feminine. This is where the hero is tempered by a deep concern for the welfare of the whole and a deep love for the world, as well as fired up by divine inspiration, the fertilizing power of the imagination, and a keenly intuitive awareness.
Sun and/or Mars – the Masculine planets – are often the planets that undergo this kind of initiation, while Neptune is, in this case, the agent of initiation. When Moon and/or Venus are in a 4th chakra pattern with Neptune, the challenge of the hieros gamos might involve learning how to actualize divine inspiration and make it real in the physical world; and/or learning how to see the real person behind the anima or animus projection; or maintaining a sense of autonomy and individuality even while working toward greater intimacy in our relationships with real life, flesh-and-blood partners.
Ultimately, the 4th chakra is about who you are in relationship to the rest of the world. Do you stand alone, and keep the world at bay; or do you dive into the drunken celebration of everything that matters? This can be a trick question, and the answer may not always be the same in every situation, but having the flexibility to do either or both when it feels right may be the key to this process.
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