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My friend, ask not what the universe can do for you,
ask instead what you can do for the universe.
Come September 7th, Neptune will stand directly opposite the sun in the night sky—and we will stand between those two worlds, like curious children looking up at giants.
It would serve us well to remember that curious child inside each one of us.
The child ever ready to learn, the child with an open heart, an open mind, the child who played carefree on the stage of life, the child who was friend to the world.
At midnight, on September 7th, when the sun reaches its greatest distance below the horizon, the point opposite to it is highest in the night sky—there you will find Neptune, shining blue and bright in the constellation Aquarius.
According to mythology, Aquarius was the son of the King of Troy. He is often painted pouring water from an amphora jar. That celestial stream is illuminated by 20 twinkling stars falling into the gaping fish mouth of Piscis Austrinus, the southern counterpart to the northern Pisces.
Legend has it that Zeus—the king of the gods—seeing Aquarius walking alone one day, immediately fell in love with the young man. Sweeping down from Mount Olympus in the form of a great eagle, the divine king snatched up the prince and hostaged him to the heavens. Ever since, and evermore, Aquarius serves in the heavens as divine concubine, and cupbearer to the gods.
And Neptune’s cup of coral overflows, for he is the ancient god of the oceans, seas, lakes, and streams. His blue planet reflects our own—though we are 17 times lesser in size, we are far bigger with life.
Our oceans, seas, lakes, and streams teem with life and cover two thirds of the earth. Our bodies are composed of two thirds water and mirror our world, just as our world in turn mirrors Neptune in the heart of Aquarius.
Being mindful of this, it is an ideal time to honour our water, both within and without. Tears were made and meant to fall, so cry with pleasure or pain, as the circumstance dictates. Drink in the purity of the world in all its forms. Bathe, shower, swim and play, celebrate, eliminate. Be water.
Go to the ocean, go into nature and find a lake, a river, a stream, and just be.
Take five minutes, and meditate.
Sit down, sit up. Relax and cross your legs. Focus only on your breath.
Allow your breath to come and go, without any assistance, without any resistance. Do not try to breathe deeply. Let go. There is no control. At the end of each breathe there is a natural pause, for a second or two. During that moment of stillness just wait, patiently.
Enjoy the nothingness.
When your next breath begins, spontaneously, let it flow, like water. Surrender—you are a raindrop in the sea of divine love.
In such ways we honour ourselves and Neptune, the god of all water. Just as he in turn honours Salacia, the goddess of the sea. Have you seen her, dancing with the sunlight on waning waves? Have you seen her, dreaming in the deep? Look within, and without. Neptune searches for her too, his heart breaking like a lovesick adolescent. But she is nowhere to be found.
Anguished, he commands all the creatures of the ocean to seek her out. For 185 years, he journeys once around the sun and still his vassals search the seven seas, shallow and deep. Then at last a dolphin finds the goddess, asleep on the seabed, and carries her to Neptune on his back.
Upon seeing the fearsome and fawning blue eyes of Neptune, Salacia is not afraid to tease the master of oceans, “Are you seasick, my lord, or lovesick?”
It is then that Neptune impatiently professes his undying love, and Salacia graciously, patiently, reciprocates. Under the 14 moons of Neptune, the two divinities are wreathed with coral and shells, and so they become consummately conjoined.
Thereafter the goddess is known as Salacia Neptuni, the personification of the wide open calm and sunlit aspect of the sea. Her name derives from the Latin, sal, meaning, salt.
And Neptune did not forget his gratitude to his devoted dolphin. You can see him still, in the vast black sea of night sky. He is the curved constellation, Delphinus, leaping joyfully over the head of Aquarius the water bearer.
The search for love, a pinch of salty humour, the harmony of the divine masculine and feminine, and finally—gratitude.
We could learn a great deal from the metaphor of this ancient story.
To really see each other, to calm the storm raging between men and women, to recognise and honour the divinity that plays within each one of us.
We might remember, from time to time, to laugh at the trials and trails of love. We might remember gratitude for each other. But more than that, we might remember gratitude for the sacred waters that sustain us all. We are gifted, and guardians of these oceans, rivers, and lakes.
A day will come when the dust of us is scattered on waves. What will the children of our children remember of us and say? That we were wise; that we were fools?
That we lived self-centred in the present moment, or that we were selflessly devoted, and mindful of the past and the future too?