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A friend just asked me, what is going on in the astrological skies?  At first I thought to myself, not much.  Pluto is not aspecting other major planets, neither is Uranus.  But then I realized that Neptune is indeed not quiet.  It is making a square to Saturn and has been off and on for at least the past 6 months.  It is strong again now as Saturn prepares to push past the square, until it comes to make a conjunction in late Pisces, 8 to 9 years from now.

So what does Saturn square Neptune mean?  And we could go even more subtle and ask what does the 2nd square mean (when Saturn starts to travel toward the conjunction)?

We can also peek at the signs and qualities involved.  Sagittarius and Pisces, both mutable signs.   For now however, let’s stick with the first question.

Saturn square Neptune: nuances flavors essences.  Saturn is the disciplinarian and “he” gets a bad rap at times.  But as I have mentioned in previous posts and articles, Saturn is vital for our society and vital for our inner growth.  It is the structure around which the other energies of the chart flow.  Saturn rules the bones and hard structures in the body and likewise without Saturn, the astrology chart might rapidly collapse.  And then there is Neptune.

Neptune rules the swirling, churning, tidal oceans of emotion and creativity.  He indicates mystical or psychic ability when positively aspects certain planets, and Neptune will indicate deception, delusion or illusion when making hard aspects with other planets.  Some astrologers even say that Neptune symbolizes the entirety of the unconscious and therefore Neptune will play some role in all aspects of the mind – thinking, intuition, feeling, etc.  Therefore Neptune goes really really deep.  Things emerge out of the oceanic collective unconscious and disappear back into it.  Therefore Neptune may even play a part in life and death myths.  (To keep this post close to 1,000 words, I won’t say too much here.)

Saturn wants to build up a personality.  And if the individual has to have more alone time, then so be it.  You rarely find a CEO or General Manager who has a lot of friends on equal footing.  More like a social butterfly who has learned to smile whenever it is needed.  The ambition (Saturn) is far more important than the substance of their relationships.

Neptune is actually quite the opposite.  Neptune says, let me sacrifice my own desires and personal achievement for the good of the collective whole.  Neptune would rather set himself on fire than cause a lot of harm to the people around him (say by laying off a whole bunch of employees as a CEO).  Neptune and Saturn are basically opposites in a number of ways.

Saturn’s shadow is workaholism and too much structure and rigidity.  Think of the shadow aspects of Capricorn and Aquarius (Saturn is basically a co-ruler here, after Uranus of course).  Cold, harsh efficiency.  A machine as far as optimal function and productivity are concerned.  The empirical scientist who turns and runs as soon as certain emotions are brought up or displayed.  Saturn loves the cold, hard facts.  Research and realism are Saturn’s domain.  He must learn to build in some heart and warmth and loving and kindness – and relaxing ease.  Take a vacation, no structure to the days and do some art when the urge strikes you (Saturn might have a difficult time with this at first).

Neptune on the other hand, his shadow is escapism.  Plain and simple.  Escaping from the fact that drugs were used at the person’s birth (this might show up as Neptune conjunct the Ascendant or Moon).  If this was the case, it could lead to the individual being really really good at dissociating from their body.  Neptune loves colorful romance and idealized rose-colored-glasses wearing fairy tales.  Neptune inspires the poets and the lovers and the artists and the playwrights.  Just make sure that deceit and delusion do not follow along with those artistic endeavors (substance abuse anyone – Neptune’s calling card).

So what can happen when Saturn’s realism confronts Neptune’s desire for escaping into the collective unconscious?  Sacrifice is one possible outcome.  Honestly it depends on what this configuration is falling on in an individual’s chart.  If Saturn is making a square aspect to Neptune in the sky above, but in your personal birth horoscope it is not actually touching anything (not in orb with any aspects to your personal planets) then you might not notice much at all.

However, if Saturn is making the square to Neptune above and in your personal astrology chart it is (the transit of these two planets) aspecting your Mars – maybe Neptune is conjunct your Mars by transit and therefore Saturn is also making a square to Mars, then you are bound to feel this energy.  In this case you might temporarily sacrifice your ability to stand up for your needs and your desires.  As the Saturn / Neptune square basically can last for 2 to 3 years, this might indicate that initially, you are making sacrifices and chewing on some old deep piece (subconsciously) and then once this aspect has been going a while you learn to stand up for yourself.  You do the healing indicated by Mar’s position and sign and aspects in your chart.  Maybe you overcome some self-doubt (if your natal Mars is making a hard aspect to Saturn or Neptune) or you overcome some early developmental piece through further learning and emotional process work.

Sometimes Saturn / Neptune hard aspects can indicate that Saturn is supplying Neptune’s active imagination with grist for self-doubt and worst-case-scenarios type of thinking.  If this is happening, I might suggest yoga or bodywork or mindful exercise (Tai Chi, Chi Kung, martial arts, swimming perhaps) to come back into your body.  This might especially be the case if this Saturn / Neptune aspect falls on or near Mercury or the Moon.

From a medical astrology standpoint (and I must make the disclaimer here that if you have a health issue, please take it right away to your nearest trusted licensed health care provider! *** seriously, I’m not a doctor ***), Neptune and Saturn can indicate a fascinating series of events as well.  Neptune can cloud health issues – you might go to the doctor with Neptune conjunct your Sun or Moon and the doctor doesn’t understand you correctly or shrugs your issue off as not being that serious (or if Mercury is also retrograde) reads your test results wrong – which can either be a disaster or an error that leads to your eventually getting good news after a bout of worrying. Neptune can throw a wrench in the medical astrology works.  And then there is Saturn.

Saturn can indicate a lowering of the immune system for a number of reasons – over-work, too much stress (may be you have been the primary caretaker for your aging parent for 6 months now and you are starting to get exhausted), etc.  When Saturn crosses the Ascendant, this is usually when we get a longer bout with a flu virus or other disease that comes from the immune system dropping temporarily.  This is especially true with Saturn conjunct the Ascendant, Sun or Moon (or making a square).  And if Neptune gets involved with these three planets / influences as well, there is sure to be an interesting few months of health ups and downs.

So to conclude this piece, Saturn and Neptune make for very interesting (and basically polar opposite) bedfellows.  Saturn is the solitary leader, the one blazing a new trail or climbing the career ladder.  Neptune is the delicate artist who is sensitive to very subtle layers of emotion and energy.  Neptune can sometimes indicate healing abilities – at least energetically (especially with a well-placed and well-aspected Chiron).  They both have interesting and varied forms of shadow sides.  And when they get together, growth and insight are likely – but it is through some suffering or sacrifice or suppression for a time.

Many things are possible when these two get together.  And thankfully, they have been close to each other for close to a year and now are starting to go their separate ways.  Astrology is a complicated subject and it is good to have a qualified astrologer look at your chart to take into consideration all the nuances and aspects.

Thanks for reading!

~km

 

 

 

As my readers may know, I recently returned from an edifying and serene and resourcing trip to Canada – British Columbia – where I learned more about pre- and perinatal psychology and birth process work.

During that training, my heart expanded along with my perceived capacity to get stuff done when I came back into the real world.  On the last day of the training, we sat in our groups of 3 (plus a TA) and discussed what our plans were to get support once we got back into our regular lives (outside of idyllic British Columbian mountain settings).

I recorded my plans and intentions and needs around support.  And that list, which I guess one could call a brain storming of sorts, was long and now that I listen to it again, it was quite overambitious.

I need to integrate the work (the emotional process work that I did myself and that I witnessed).  That is first and foremost.  Somehow though, I came back home with an expanded heart and I started filling up every morning of my calendar.  And then most evenings were spent at work (I work in a restaurant to pay the bills.  Although if I had my way, I would prefer to see more bodywork clients and not have to work.  The benefits are nice though.)

We are supposed to keep in touch with people from the training, but if I am filling up my time with connections up there, then my plate is still too full.  Even if it is full of good stuff.

I have given multiple bodywork sessions since being back, including to a Mom and baby who was born via C-section.  And I had to pause the next day and say, “Do I need to treat myself for shock?”  (I had also seen a bear while hiking by myself not too far from Charlottesville.  A surprising if not shocking experience of sorts.)  And the answer was a “yes.”  So I did that.  I lay down.  I had a heated pad on my kidneys.  I drank some warm tea.

Now that Mercury is out of retrograde, I am going even slower.  Maybe now my integration can actually begin.  What am I doing differently?  First of all, I am not actively calling others to schedule anything.  If clients call me, that is great.  Then I say yes and schedule them.  But this week I have two days off and on one of them I’m not scheduling a damned thing.  And on the other day off, I am going hiking with a friend of mine.  (after the bear incident, I am thinking I might hike with other people more often.)

My schedule is still pretty full.  I am assisting in a Polyvagal class one morning a week – where I get to drop into a deep state of resourced potency and more clarity and occasionally I receive a free treatment from one of the students in the class.  I also have to give bodywork but this can also be resourcing.  Sometimes I feel I too receive healing (or at least I am forced to rest in alignment) when I give bodywork.

But outside of treating the occasional baby and the weekly client, I plan to take it easy for the month of October.  Of course, if you want to chat about your astrology chart, look me up – email is kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com    I am looking forward to doing some astrology in the next few weeks.

I was surprising everyone up in Canada.  I mentioned that I started first with astrology (back in 2003) – before I got into bodywork.  So of course several people wanted me to peek at their charts.  I was just saying the first thing off the top of my head about the various aspects and configurations I was seeing and it seemed pretty spot on.  My intuition is definitely sharper at the moment.

The moral of the story is that I am slowing down more than I have been the past couple weeks.  I am happy to see 2 or 3 bodywork clients a week (and I need to schedule down time for me after I see them).  And I am happy to start doing astrology interpretations again.  I have taken a 6 month hiatus for some reason – haven’t done many charts in a while.  But it was great fun to chat about astrology up in Canada, so I see it happening more here.  And I need a designated day off with nothing on my docket.  Finding a balance between doing just enough versus doing too much is not easy for me.  My intention is more being and less doing.  I am curious about what that looks like.

Wish me luck (in slowing down)!

Thanks for reading,

~km

I have permission from my friend to share a little about her experience today.  No names so her identity will remain anonymous.  [And by the way, I am not a doctor.  I do not claim to be able to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or conditions!  If you have medical questions, you should speak with a licensed practitioner.  And doctors have phenomenal training in the biomedical model and treating pathophysiology issues and delivering babies.  And there might be room for improvement as well.]

I learned a lot in Canada during the PPN (pre- and perinatal psychology / birth process) training.  And of course I realized that I have a lot more to learn as well.  Sometimes though it is funny how my brain works – it is as if I have a little super-man sitting on my shoulder saying, “Hey – you have discovered all 8 steps to treating babies.  You can name them all.  You obviously know what you are doing!”  {by the way, 8 is an arbitrary number there – just using it as an example.}

And then I get in there and give a treatment and have to call my teachers because 10x more questions arose than I could answer!  And I desperately need a debrief!  Minds are funny sometimes.  So no I don’t fully know what I’m doing.  But yes my intuition is extremely sharp and yes I have learned many tools for treating adults and kids and babies.  And I have some knowledge.  But I have a ton more to learn!

I honestly cannot believe how cold and distant and harsh and ignorant hospitals can be.  Not all hospitals.  (And yes, this is a nursing student saying this.  However I am an extremely well-educated nursing student when it comes to Emotional Quotient – I have done more than a decade of work around educating my heart to be more kind to self and other, to have more clarity, to have authentic compassion for self and other and to speak my truth to power.  And I have done a great deal of birth process work on myself with authentic mentors and coaches and teachers.)

In treating my friend, who recently gave birth via C-section, I got to see how little some doctors know about trauma and how to prevent trauma and how to resolve trauma if it occurs.  We have to educate them!  I feel like I am almost ready to be that person to provide trainings for them, but I don’t have enough credentials after my name.

I intend to go through my treatment of my friend and what she said about how the birth was and where I feel like it, I will say, the doctors did well and here’s where they could improve.

She went in for a check up because her due date was the following day – she was huge and she was ready for the contractions to start and she wanted to have a natural birth.  Vaginal birth.  During the check up, of course they did an ultrasound (which may not be necessary by the way – a good mid wife can determine which way the baby is oriented without the high pitch ultrasound which has been shown to hurt baby’s ears).  And the baby had turned breech – feet down.  So they basically did not give her an option.  They said they needed to do a C-section within the next few hours.  She did not have a doula.  She did not have a midwife.  She had not done any research about her options.

Yes, breech birth can be dangerous.  But some midwives specialize in doing breech births and those births are successful.  And more importantly perhaps, is that some midwives (or even some OBGYN’s) have learned how to work with the baby to turn.  It might have an hour or two, but they could tried!  [Full disclosure, I don’t know if there were any other reasons for her having a C-section.  Her primary language is Spanish, so her husband was translating some of our conversation.]

Let me call a pause right there and let that sink in.  Here was my friend, excited about and anticipating having a natural vaginal birth and suddenly she has just an hour or two before she will be drugged (epidural – needle in her spine) and cut open, having the baby pulled right out of her.  That is scary shit.  And if you unpack all the layers, there might even be some anger deep down there towards the medical system for letting you down.  And if not anger, then guilt might arise because she was so attached to the idea of pushing and having a natural labor and delivery.  So, we might want to pause for a long time and unpack all these layers…  But she didn’t have that option.

So she had one to two hours to prepare for a major surgery that she did not expect to need to have.  Let me just repeat, that is scary shit.  And it has also been shown that fear closes down the pelvis – meaning that even if a good midwife had been with her, after the doctors told her about needing a section, there would be even less of a chance of having a successful breech birth.

They did not give her a choice.  Her English is not good so I don’t think she asked any questions or expressed her needs.  She needed a birth advocate.  Really.

Therefore, instead of trying to work with the baby first, knowing that she had a C-section.  I asked if I could work with her first.  She asked me if that was really necessary, saying that she was pretty much fine.  And I said, let me just put my hands on your arm and listen for a few minutes.

So she lay down.  I have a bit of training with Kathy Kaine’s Touch Skills for Therapists (Trauma Resolution).  I also have a lot of training doing emotional process oriented bodywork via Craniosacral Therapy, Zapchen Somatics and Process Buddhism.  So if you ask me exactly what modality I was using, I would say primarily the trauma resolution piece and it was also informed by the different layers of primary respiration (what tides of cerebrospinal fluid movement was she in?).

It did not take long to start “working.”  I was holding her forearm, and after checking on the contact – was it comfortable, etc, I started listening to her skin with the proprioceptors in my hands and fingers.

Within about 3 to 5 minutes, there was a definite sensation that I felt as outside person – it was gritty and big and scary and rough and it was almost like she was being bullied by something.  I asked her if she noticed anything.

She said yes!  She wondered if I was pulling something out of her.  I said it was mainly her body doing the healing.  In truth, I definitely wasn’t pulling anything out of her into me!  I was just a coach and a container and a compassionate, unconditionally caring witness.

She said it felt weird and scary.  I said that sounded about right.  She said (that in spite of my only holding her forearm) that it felt like something was being pulled out of the wound in her pelvis.  I felt that too.

That strange sensation lasted about 2 – 3 minutes.  Then I felt cold.  There was cold energy coming off of her skin.  I asked her about that.  And yes she said, why is it cold?

I asked, was it cold in the operating room and her husband said yes!  She was shivering a bit at times.  I think she was kept cold to keep the blood flow down.  I also said that terror and fear can lead to frozen tissue and that it was good that the cold energy was releasing.

After about 5 minutes of her releasing the cold energy, a new sensation arose.  The time numbness.  Again I asked her about this.  And yes, she said she noticed it.  I asked her how it was to be drugged.  She said that she couldn’t move properly for about 6 – 8 hours after the surgery.  I said the numbness might be the memory (or the actual) of the drug moving out of her system.

Then she finally relaxed more and said she felt warmth.  I let her sit with that for a few minutes (I wanted to purposely go slow.  To slow things down.  Because the surgery and the birth were probably way too fast).

Then I asked her how her digestion was.  She said not good.  I asked if I could put my hands on her belly.  Sure she said.

I listened for a few minutes and felt a few slow, sluggish spots in her digestion.  Then I remembered that Balancing the Sphincters – a quick technique I learned in Visceral Manipulation classes – might be good.

Checking her sphincters, I found that the second one – the Pyloric sphincter (from the stomach to the duodenum) was basically not moving.  Often times the digestion will be sluggish resulting in a sluggish sphincter, but I listened for a minute or two and no movement!  So I did the rebounding technique to reset it and sure enough.  A couple minutes later it was moving on its own again.  Yay!  Of course, due to the pain killing medication which probably had some narcotics (opioids) in it, that is a part of the reason her digestion would be disrupted.

She started to fall asleep during the treatment, so I figured that she had had enough.

In just 30 minutes of listening to her system, providing a safe space (container) for her body to release that traumatic memory, and occasionally explaining what I was doing, she released a lot!  But honestly we probably only went through 3 or 4 layers of trauma.  I’m sure there is more.

I must say that her surgery went splendidly.  I did not see the wound but hopefully it is healing well and hopefully the surgeon did a great job of stitching her up.  The doctors did a great job of assisting the baby be born.  And her husband was right there with her the entire time, so that was good for her to have an ally and friend in the room.

If the doctors had some training in trauma prevention or resolution (and if they had a well-trained midwife on premise) most of this work might not be necessary.

And of course I am looking forward to doing a debrief with my teachers about what I could have done better and how I can treat the baby for shock – treating mommy was relatively easy (because I am used to working with adults).  I am probably heading back over there to work with the baby in a week or two.

Thanks for reading!

~KM

My little 2 person dome