Take the Bus, Not the Jet, to Nirvana.

Via on Aug 15, 2013
Colorful Kashmiri Bus by Fawad Awan - Transportation Other Stock Photos on Pixoto© Fawad Awan / Pixoto
© Raj Padia / Pixoto
© Markus Gann / Pixoto

Are You Inspired or Confused?

Are you inspired or confused about your own spirituality?

Here’s a simple test: When Jehovah witnesses ring your bell…do you answer? If so, do you invite them up for a cup of coffee to hear their message? Do you end your sentences with, “Praise the Lord!” Are you following a particular guru who’s showing you the true path? Do you feel sure that you are “one with the universe?” Are you questioning whether God exists? Or, are you wondering what it even means to be spiritual?

Thanks to the transiting planet, Neptune, this may be the time when you find answers to your questions.

Neptune’s influence may be causing you to seek spirituality and truth at this time in your life. You may find it by attending a regular religious service, joining a metaphysical group, meditating or through volunteer service.

This may be a period in your life when you explore your higher consciousness in order to seek answers of a deep and personal nature. As you examine your outer world, Neptune’s influence can be both mystical and inspirational as well as abstract and confusing.

Of all the planets, Neptune is the least ego-oriented. In simple terms, Neptune energies cause you to remove your focus from gratifying yourself to serving others. Its effect on most people is to bring out their concern and compassion for all of society.

However, if your general outlook in the world has been focused primarily on satisfying your own needs with the attitude of “what’s in it for me?” and “let everyone just take care of themselves,” this may be a disorienting time for you. That’s because during this lengthy transit, you’ll experience an internal shift where you find yourself caring more about others than you ever have in the past. At first, you may find it odd, to go from the attitude, “I’m just too busy and can’t be bothered,” to “Sure, I can take some time out to help other people.” What’s happening in your life is that you’re starting to see yourself as part of a larger group and less as a self-focused individual. When Neptune transits certain Houses of your chart (e.g. 1st, 3rd, 8th, 9th, and 12th) your learning is inspired with a spiritual orientation.

Great Time for Spiritual Pursuits & Taking a Journey

During a Neptune transit, you’re inspired to seek knowledge and search for the higher spiritual truths about your existence. This is the perfect time for you to take a metaphysical class or discover the mysteries of life by learning a mystical teaching such as the Kabbalah.

You’re open to finding answers through a philosophy or religion as long as it speaks to you on a heavenly or mystical plane. Perhaps you may study religion or pursue a religious calling where you can do God’s work, whether it’s teaching a Bible studies class, entering the priesthood or becoming a rabbi. You may even find yourself attracted to a non-traditional spiritual movement.

This is an excellent period in your life to practice meditation, attend personal growth workshops or partake in a whole variety of spiritual experiences. You’re in a contemplative state of mind where your ego is not tied to the material life but more to how you can be of benefit to the mass collective of all people. You feel drawn to being of service to others, perhaps deciding to do missionary work or volunteering for the Peace Corps.

When you live in a material world, where your life is focused on work, paying the rent or mortgage, and all the other demands of day-to-day life, there doesn’t seem to be time for thoughtful reflection about weighty questions like, “What is your purpose in life?” or “How could life be more fulfilling for you?”

Have you ever dreamed of just dropping out of the responsibilities of life and going on your own personal contemplative journey to discover answers for such questions? You have that opportunity during a Neptune transit (especially in your 9th House), because it’s an inspirational and mystical time to gain knowledge.

One client used this transit to plan her transcendental trek to India, where she took an extended vacation joining a meditation group to go on a tour of all the holy sites, including the Taj Mahal. On her trip she spent time with various spiritual teachers who advanced her studies and self-understanding. I’ve had clients who fulfilled this desire by taking a trip to Israel to visit the Holy Land or a tour of the Vatican. It’s a time when your strong feelings of faith may bring you a desire to lead a more self-reflective life—like one client who joined an ashram.

Beware of a Delusional Spiritual Journey

Neptune’s influence can also bring misunderstanding and deception in your encounters with others, especially those engaged in religious or spiritual teachings. So, be careful not to be overly optimistic or idealistic where you can be taken advantaged of or duped. In extreme cases, this can be a time when a person falls prey to phony gurus or cults that promise answers if you relinquish your personal responsibility to their authority. Be particularly careful if the leaders of the group advise you to sell your property and give them the proceeds to “further their work.”

In a positive vein, the influence of Neptune can bring you to a holy place where you feel a deep connection to God, your religion and spirituality. In fact, this is a time when a person may “see the light,” perhaps through a religious experience, and as a result, become spiritually enlightened.

At the other extreme, this same individual can become arrogant and self-righteous, fooling himself into thinking he has a vision where he’s answering a divine calling, becoming holier than everyone else. The person believes he has found the answers, so he becomes overzealous and proselytizes in an effort to convert friends. Unfortunately, one of my clients fell into such a Neptunian illusion on her spiritual journey.

Eleanor joined an ashram run by a religious order. She was totally swept up with the chanting and divine direction she was given. It was clear to her that the gurus who were instructing her were showing her the true path to enlightenment. Now, for the first time, she understood why all her superficial friends would never find happiness. They didn’t understand that the path to true bliss required abandoning the material. The head guru, leading the ashram was going to personally instruct her on all her decisions, so she’d be assured she was embarking on the road to true joy and contentment. He would soon find a romantic partner for her and arrange a marriage with someone she could build a life. Eleanor was sure the guru knew what was best for her.

However, after two years of living in the ashram and an unsuccessful marriage, the fog lifted (as Neptune moved out of her 9th House) and she saw the reality: the guru was controlling her life, not leading her on a path to enlightenment. Fortunately for her, her awakening came just before she signed over all her assets to the guru.

Finding your true path seldom requires signing over your life savings although under Neptune’s spell you may be too confused to see that truth. Under this transit, beware of a spiritual wolf in lamb’s clothing.

Take the Bus, Not the Jet, to Spiritual Enlightenment

Neptune in your 9th House is a genuine opportunity to seek enlightenment and the divine truth if you avoid anyone’s offer to fly you over the clouds—directly to nirvana. The true path is usually not a “non-stop” flight. It’s normally a long journey that can lead to meaningful discovery and revelation as long as you aren’t overly attached to what you learn, since your vision of the truth may change during this period of your life, as it did for Eleanor.

I suggest to clients they take, what I call, “the spiritual bus.” If you decide to hop aboard, it will stop off at many wonderful places where you’ll experience genuine spiritual enlightenment. For most, it’s best not to get off the transcendental Greyhound too soon. Instead, take the entire trip because it will allow you to experience the joy and bliss of learning about yourself and others on your journey.

One revelation you’ll have is that you’re not alone in the world, because we’re all interconnected as fellow human beings. This is a time to be compassionate to others, especially as you travel your world. The rich experiences you have on your travels may touch your heart as you learn that people of other cultures are just like you—in ways you hadn’t realized.

If you want to know where your personal transits are — to see if they are affecting you right now, go to the Free Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. You may find that Neptune is affecting your life right now.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

About Larry Schwimmer

Lawrence D. Schwimmer is in private practice as an astrologer. If you'd like a reading, please contact him at Larry@AstroDecision.com. He is also the author of What The Hell Is Going On In My Life and How To Ask For A Raise Without Getting Fired—And 24 Other Techniques For Resolving Conflicts At Work & In Life; and Winning Your Next Promotion In One Year (Or Less!). He is President of Astrodecision.com, a San Francisco-based consulting company. The firm uses planetary cycles analysis to counsel individual and corporate clients on picking the “best dates” to make successful decisions of all types: personal, marketing, financial, and political. The firm currently advises a diverse client base that includes politicians, presidents of major corporations and a MLB Baseball Team.

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