Today we are going to take a look at Mars's conjunction with Neptune, which is happening just after our lunar eclipse in Scorpio, and the sun was squaring Saturn.
Hi, everyone. This is Acyuta-bhava from Nightlight Astrology. Today we are going to take a look at Mars's conjunction with Neptune, which is happening just after our lunar eclipse in Scorpio when the sun was squaring Saturn pretty dynamic and intense set of aspects that we had during eclipse season right around this full moon. So coming right off from that, what's happening this week right away, is the conjunction between Mars and Neptune in Pisces. This itself is it's you can include it in the movement of the lunar cycle. We'll kind of talk about that for a minute in the beginning. But we're going to also just kind of try to get into the heart of this archetypal combination today. I think probably tomorrow; we'll do horoscopes to give you a sense of where that combination is happening in your chart right now because it is a pretty big transit, it's slower-moving, and you're going to be feeling this transit for three or four days, going backward and forward after the conjunction. So that is where we are heading today and maybe some horoscopes tomorrow.
And let's take a look at Mars and Neptune's conjunction, which is really the focus of this week's astrology. So Mars is conjoining Neptune on May 17. It is a conjunction that will also be active throughout the rest of this week. Let's go ahead and take a look at the real-time clock and kind of map it out a little bit. So here you can see the conjunction between Mars and Neptune forming, and let's just speed this up a little bit. And you'll notice their conjunction comes through on the 17th. And then they just Mars is just passing over to the 25th degree into the 18th. But we need a three-degree range. So watch, we got two degrees by May 21. We're getting about three degrees by May 22. That's the end of this week that the engagement range is still active. Okay, so aside from freaky things involving water, because anytime you get, you know, something conjoining Neptune in a water sign, you know, that the potential significations for water stuff is definitely one of them; it's one of the most literal things that always seems to happen. We're not going to talk about water stuff.
Today, we're going to talk about the Mars Neptune conjunction from an archetypal standpoint and give you a sense of what you can watch for. And I think tomorrow, as I said, I think we'll do horoscopes and take it through the 12 Rising signs and sort of sun rising sign horoscopes to give you a sense of how it might be impacting your birth chart.
Today, I first want to talk to you a little bit about I Ching reading that I did for the Mars conjunct Neptune transit. There are two hexagrams in a changing line. I'm going to talk about that. And then there are five lessons for Mars Neptune conjunctions that I think are really applicable right now for all of us. And those kind of dovetail off from the teaching reading. So let's begin. If you don't know what the I Ching is, it's one of the oldest spiritual texts on the planet. It is the oldest of the Chinese classics. And it is a text that was originally like a philosophical text about the powers of creation, the exchange of yin and yang, throughout the unfolding of cycles and sequences of creation, archetypal Lee speaking, it's like an algorithm of life or something like that. But very beautiful and symbolic and instructive. And transformative if you apply them to your life in the same way that you might with, say, tarot or astrology. I Ching is sort of my private study. It's something that's just for me. I don't practice it for other people so much, a few times, you know, here or there. But primarily, it's something that I do for myself as a way of helping me understand the transit of the day or the week or whatever it might be. I usually cast the hexagram in the morning while I'm in prep mode after I've kind of done my morning practices or whatever. And then I'm asking for archetypal insight into the transit that can help illuminate whatever talk I'm giving for the day. And then sometimes I share them, and sometimes I don't, but I think when one is when there's an I Ching reading, that's very striking to me, I'll share it. Eventually, the teaching as a book of philosophy became used, almost in the same way that you would think about flipping a random page of the Bible open. I've said that for years about the teaching. I think the first time I said that was, you know, way back in the day, much like 2013 or 14. I was regularly doing bibliomancy, flipping open random pages in the Bible, and sharing them in my daily written blogs before I had a YouTube channel. And I would always compare the I Ching to bibliomancy. And so far, as you know, historically, the teaching was first a wisdom text. And then gradually, it was as though the wisdom of the texts became used in a divinatory manner in an irregular manner, which is pretty cool. It's cool that it has that history behind it. Interestingly, its use as an irregular tool comes about not in a totally different time era, I should say. Then Hellenistic astrology or original horoscopic astrology. So that's a little background, in case you're not familiar.
So today's reading is with Mars conjunct Neptune in Pisces in mind; what did it say? I thought this was so beautiful, such a beautiful teaching, the first hexagram that came back, and there are 64 of them within the teaching. And every one has a kind of different kernel of wisdom or an insight to provide.
Number 52 is often called Mountain or keeping still, it's actually they're made up of six lines, and there are two trigrams or three lines each. And this one has doubled mountains. So it's like a mountain over a mountain. And it's called Keeping still, as often translated as keeping still in English. And one of the images that is most frequently associated with this hexagram is that of a person sitting and remaining still in a kind of meditative trance or practice of stillness or quiet. So I found this to be really interesting because first of all, when I think of Mars Neptune, the last thing in the world I think about is stillness because Mars is so dynamic and Neptune is so fluid. I think of Tai Chi, I think of kung fu, I think of jujitsu, I think of martial arts that are very fluid, I think of, you know, salsa dancing, I think of things that are spicy and fluid and kind of row especially in the in Pisces which is the exultation of Venus a little bit of a romantic chivalrous quote.
Already, I think a lot of, for example, the knight of cups in the tarot. So I'm like, that's what's on my mind? Why would keeping still the mountain come up?
Well, when you get a second hexagram, there's a line within the first hexagram that's changing potentially and therefore creating a different hexagram. So it's a picture of a kind of transformation that will occur should you keep on a certain path, or that transformation is a kind of teaching or reflection of the moment that you're in or something like that.
So the third line of the hexagram was changing, and it reads like this, line three reads, keeping his hips still, and it could be heard them keeping their hips still making his sacrum stiff, dangerous, the heart suffocates. I want to read you guys something that goes along with this line in particular. The commentary reads, that this refers to enforced quiet, the Restless Heart is to be subdued by forcible means, but fire, when it is smothered, changes into acrid smoke that suffocates as it spreads. Therefore, in exercises and meditation, and concentration, one ought not to try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of inner composure. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results. Isn't that beautiful?
The second hexagram that comes as a result of potentially getting too rigid in the picture of keeping still is number 23, which is called splitting apart. And it shows the picture of the earth below a mountain. And in that sense, you're looking at something that's here's a mountain above, and then at the base is the crumbling of that mountain, the erosion at the bottom of the mountain. So in, trying to keep still, which is, let's say, a kind of meditative state, let's say in hexagram 52, is not as much about keeping still as, let's say, a meditative state or a prayerful state, or a state of alignment or whatever we want to call it being aligned with the Tao, you might say it is.
I just went to a Quaker service over the weekend, we used to go to a Quaker Meeting in, in Maryland, and we hadn't been for many years. And then it was just this, and I just got this really, it was interesting. And someone mentioned that there was a Quaker meeting. And it turned out it was not far from where we used to live when we first moved to Minnesota a couple of years ago. And then I was like, You know what, it would be fun to go to a Quaker Meeting. Again, if you don't know what Quaker meetings are. One of the things that define a Quaker Meeting is everybody gathered together in prayerful silence, attending what is sometimes referred to as I'm gonna probably botch this, but as like the inner light, it's that aspect of God that lives in all beings. And it's attentive listening to the promptings, the guidance, and just the communing with that inner divine light, which I consider to be very similar to what I do as a practitioner of bhakti, which is a mantra meditation to connect with the Divine.
So I thought, well, let's go do this. So we did this. And we were there. It was so nice to sit in this prayerful silence. For about an hour, my wife and I and the kids had like a little daycare program in the basement of this, like, church kind of setting. And it was really nice. It was a beautiful, beautiful experience. And I thought as we were leaving, I thought, you know, I'm so when I first learned, you know, started getting into yoga and meditation and stuff like that. I was so white-knuckled about it. It was like a practice of control, a practice of austerity, a practice of trying to kind of get my shit together. Do you know what I mean? So, it was just; it wasn't like, I never would consider myself like a really rigid person, you know. But always with a Capricorn moon, you know, there's the potential to really like white knuckle stuff, right? So what I was I was aware of as we left this Quaker service and we went to the park and had a picnic with the kids. It was really nice, beautiful spring day here and everything. And I was just sitting there, and I'm talking to my wife, and I said, like, I feel so thankful that prayer, meditation, contemplative states, reflective states, Mantra, meditation states, for me, have become so much more gentle.
They've become so much more relaxed over time. I was born with Mars opposite Neptune. And what this hexagram sequence is telling us is that there, especially with Mars Neptune, which can be like such a spiritual Crusader, that placement can be so much about, you know, the drive to enlightenment, the, you know, the Olympic gold medal sports of austerity and sitting in rings of fire and Mars is competitive and aggressive. And the way that it goes about trying to reach some spiritual state is very ambitious. And I'm not saying there isn't a place for spiritual ambition or sportiness or competitiveness or something like that. Because there is, I mean, you know, in fact, one of the things I love about bhakti is Krishna. And many of His pastimes, Krishna is very competitive. And there's this playful competition within spiritual lives. Like, I used to be a swimmer growing up very Mars, Neptune opposition to my chart, and I was really into competitive swimming. And I loved it because it was a, you know, me and my teammates were always pushing each other's times. But it was really; it was really about also about pushing yourself to go beyond your limits. And so that kind of thing can be really beautiful and fun. But I was just blown away by the fact that this hexagram sequence would come up and, you know, here's Mountain, which is really about how you invite that kind of stillness into your life.
And the message is like, Look, if you want flow state, whether you're a creative person, or whether you're talking about meditation or prayer, so important, you look at this third line of the hexagram. And it's a picture in the third line of like, and it's like a young line. And it's, it's a picture of trying to force the issue of like, like white-knuckling it. Let's read it again, line three, keeping his hips still, making his sacrum stiff, dangerous, the heart suffocates.
So whatever Mars Neptune tends to come up, and this is something Liz Greene wrote about extensively in her book, which is one of my favorites that I've ever read on Neptune called Neptune in the Quest for Redemption. She writes about this extensively that Mars Neptune is a bit like Joan of Arc. It's that sense of receiving the battle, the call into battle, you know, the missionaries call, the call to fight for something, lay down your life for something, aspire for something, and that something is imaginative, it's big, it's nebulous, it's numinous, it's divine. So that's Mars Neptune will conjure that up in us. However, the thing is that Mars Neptune placement, and in fact, Neptune, in general, can also be associated with this kind of intolerance. And impatience, the sense of, for example, the drive to oblivion, that someone can, I mean, at least in you know, I don't want to sound judgmental, but you know, sometimes people believe that by annihilating their consciousness through drink, or through really extreme or intense experiences that by the kind of like completely voiding their ego, and like, you know, the jet is like trying to get out of the body and stuff like that. It's like, you know, their spiritual, extreme sports that, that people get involved in, I guess, you could say, and there's some probably something to it, but at the same time, it's like, you have to be careful about how ambitious you're getting, how rigid you're getting, with whatever has captured your imagination, your spirituality, your heart and soul, and how hard you're driving toward it. How intense you're being about it. Gentle wins the day, right? Then there's flow with Mars Neptune, but there's if Grace has been left behind in the way we speak, or how we speak or how we instruct, how we guide or teach others, then that's, that's a problem. So because, what happens if we're white-knuckling it and getting too intense and stirred up by our own righteous sense of how true something is? Well, it's rooted in 3000 years, 5000 years of religious history, all the Guru's and the gurus and the gurus have said this thing or my spiritual tradition says this, or my intuition has told me this or I received division or you know, whatever it is, you get so zealous about it, you become so intense about it. The heart suffocates; the heart is pushed out by the will and the drive toward that numinous image.
And hexagram 23, which comes as the result of such intensity, is a picture of the erosion of the mountain. And remember, the mountain in the first hexagram is the picture of a kind of state of tranquility, a state of meditativeness that doesn't mean it's not it doesn't move. It's that It's a state of, well, you know, in the mindfulness movement, it would be mindfulness. You know, it's diff, probably called different things are spoken of differently by different traditions. You know, in our tradition, it might be feeling really closely connected to God or something like that, you know, the Tao might say you're in alignment with the Tao or whatever. But you know, if you white knuckle it, the idea is that that state is falling apart. And the tricky thing is, you don't know it's falling apart because you're so hyped up about it. You know, it's like, I'll just admit this as a dad, right? This happens to me often, and I have to be careful because I was born with Mars, opposite Neptune. I'll get so excited about something that I'm trying to explain or talk about. It's like a story or whatever. And I'm trying to tell my wife and kid, and I'm trying to tell them a story. And let's say someone stops listening, or let's say someone's attention is diverted, let's say someone does not think it's as cool as I think it is, or whatever the case might be. I have had to work very hard over the years and still am working on not having a hair-trigger reaction of intolerance toward that. Do you know what I mean? So the thing about Mars Neptune is also that there's this very thin line when it comes to what you're pumped up about and suddenly, potentially being so fired up with the Mars Neptune quality, they become intolerant, you can rage, you can get so zealous that you burn the place down. I remember one time my wife said, I, I wish that your excitement would not, you know, would not have like, flooded the space tonight, because I was like, so excited about something. And it could have been I don't remember what it was. But I just remember her saying this one time was years ago. And it was like I was just so manic about it that it just kind of like I was completely unaware of how, you know, it affected other people around me. That's a Mars Neptune dynamic. If you're a Mars Neptune native, you probably know what I'm talking about. It's something that you always, you know, you've kind of always working on. So how can we find that state of grace, that state of flow, that state of connection to the Divine? Without becoming rigid, without the heart suffocating? Keeping his hips still, making his sacrum stiff and dangerous, the heart suffocates.
Well, here are five lessons for Mars Neptune that kind of dovetail off from this teaching reading that I did and that I hope you'll find applicable as well.
Number one is, and this kind of goes, connects very closely to what I was just saying is that you can't move into love. Let's say that the goal of life, whether you call it Tao, alignment flow, God's source Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, we, you know, whatever state we're giving to this sense of being communing with the Divine and feeling like we're in alignment with it. Very Mars, Neptune, right? When you feel that flow, you can't move into that love or that alignment or that flow by means of any path or practice whatsoever. If the means by which you're doing so are not themselves loving. You could be, you know, like, I was saying, like, I could be so stoked about something that's beautiful, viewed interesting, amazing, you know, but if I'm not telling the story in a way that doesn't stress out my wife or kids because I'm not aware of it, I'm oblivious, and I'm steamrolling them. Well, that, you know, that could be problematic. So I think it's so important that we like over time, one of the things that I was, and this goes back to what I was saying about after I came out of the Quaker service with Ashley, this last weekend, came out of the Quaker service, and I said, I'm so glad that, you know, my practice has become so much more relaxed. Because the last time I was at Quaker service years back, you know, it wasn't like that. So I was like, oh, I've grown a little bit, you know, that's cool. And the same thing is true for mantra meditation. You know, I've noticed not that I'm any kind of accomplished meditator. But I've noticed over time that if I'm talking about bhakti, if I'm talking about astrology, you know, enthusiasm is great, excitement is great. But if I'm not talking about it in a way that mirrors the quality that I'm saying, it delivers, you know, if I'm, then something's missing. If my mantra meditation, I expect it to take me into love and flow and grace and surrender and divinity. But the way in which I'm practicing is not aware of the need to mirror those qualities. That's problematic. You can say that any practice whatsoever in time will probably purify and lead you into an awareness of the mismatch between your intention where you hope to go and the means by which you're doing it. I think that's part of the process, right? It's part of how we learn. But it's something to stay aware of always is the means by which I'm doing something, matching the state that I'm hoping to achieve.
Number two, negating what we oppose is not as useful as focusing on what we love. And I've heard a lot of teachers in my life, from the Christian tradition, from different yogic traditions from the bhakti tradition. And I will tell you what always wins my heart over and what I think brings other people naturally into their desire for some kind of spiritual wellness in their life. You know, if if you're trying to teach people the value of having a yogic practice, or if you're trying to teach people the value of prayerfulness, or even a practice of like, astrology, or have a healthy practice of reading sacred texts, the least helpful thing you can do is to focus on everything that is bad or wrong about not having that practice in your life. In other words, don't, you know, it's like, don't try to sell people on what is good and healthy for them by focusing on all of the stuff that's so bad for them that they're doing currently in contrast, and like where they should be or what they should be doing. Do you know what I mean? It's very similar. Like, one thing that's unfortunate is there's in you know, in the Indian spiritual tradition, in general, there are many people who are in positions of being teachers who have never had children. And I don't always find that that's a problem. It's certainly not meant to be a criticism on my part. But one thing that I've always thought, well, you know, sometimes you'll find, you know, very devoted, like monastic personalities. And this is not just in the yogic tradition. I've encountered this in the Christian tradition, too. I worked for Franciscans, you know, and not like when you have children, one of the things that you learn quickly if you learn, and you might not, but if you do learn, you learn pretty quickly that it is encouragement that works and not scolding, when you focus on what kids are doing wrong. They get more and more caught up in what's what they're doing wrong. And they start to develop a resistant and rebellious attitude. When you focus on what they're doing, right, when you focus on encouragement, and when you offer a lot of praise. And then, the criticism is incremental and very constructive, and careful. There's just, you know, night and day difference in terms of how fast my kids learn. And you know, even the same thing is true for me when someone's bringing me along. I'm the same way my dogs are the same way. Like people, that's just how we are. Neptune and Mars, interestingly enough, can get so passionate about what they believe is right or true. So. So, you know, there's empowerment in spiritual practice, especially for people who have spiritual practices for very long amounts of time. There's a sense of being like very empowered by that. And then there's almost an increased sense of confidence that comes with it that well, you know, I've had a meditation practice for years, I've been keeping sacred vows for years. And so, you know, I can lean on people a little bit because I've earned it, I can, I can really, you know, I can really sit and make people really aware of what they shouldn't be doing. You know, because I'm an example of what they should be doing. This doesn't work, right? It doesn't work, negating what we oppose, saying that this isn't good. So get rid of that. That's never as useful as focusing on what we love. And moving toward what we love with joy and excitement and enthusiasm, something bigger than ourselves that we want to serve and give our lives to, whether it's spiritual or it's a creative passion, is always going to take us further in a sense than trying to get there by negating something that we don't like, which again, one of them did you know that Mars Neptune has a long history of being signified in times of genocide, and in great political intolerance, things like that.
Number three is the art of incrementalism. I heard a friend recently talking, and he, in turn, had heard a friend who was a Buddhist, I believe, and there was a teaching that they had from a Buddhist teacher, and it went like this.
Some teachers are going to stand as examples that are way, way above where you are. But an even more advanced teacher is, although you know that they're way beyond where you are, they'll always be sure to make you feel that they're just one step above you holding their handout, just like a little small step above where you're at right now holding their hand out and saying, Come on, it's an easy step, you can do it, you've got this, don't have to worry about getting all the way up there. It's just this step, and you're fine, like, everything else will come in time. So he said that they know how to position themselves sort of psychically. So that they really make you feel comfortable in where you're at while encouraging you to take a small next step forward. I have found over and over and over again that that is a really big challenge for many people; even great spiritual teachers often have an including myself; I'm not like some great spiritual teacher or anything; it's just something I've observed in myself. And it is really hard. To not try to, if you're like, let's say, you know, for the first time, I'm talking to someone who's just learning how to meditate, and I've been doing it daily for, you know, years and years. To me, it's the art form that I'm most interested in is how to make that person feel. Not like I'm so I've been meditating every day for six years, or whatever. But I'm just like, like you, you know, I'm taking a day at a time. So meditation can be hard. Do you know what I mean? So can't you relate to that? Can't you say, yes, there's been people in my life, and the ones that have really helped me develop and grow. In my spiritual life. Those have been the people who don't condemn, and they don't say, this is not good, this is bad, don't go there, you should be going over here. They don't hold themselves up. Like they're this lofty thing far above you. There's this sense of the gentle encouragement of taking just the next step and that where you are right now is also fine. It's also okay. God loves you; you know that people who embody that get the most out of people, people who don't tend to be in their own Chamber of greatness sequestered away from other people, really, you know what I mean?
I can tell you, having been all over the New Age world, Ayahuasca ceremonies in many different cultures, places, traditions, many different Christian settings, and many different yogic settings, that those are always the teachers that just bummed me out, eventually, I just go can't follow. You can't, can't, can't hang. You're an incredible example, in many ways, but you don't have that art of incrementalism; you're not speaking to my heart, you know, and the teachers that hold my attention do somehow always make me feel like they're just a person. And, but they're a little bit more advanced than I am out, though, let's not forget, they're, they're on a different level. But I can wait; I can just take the next step, just the next little one. And you're fine with that. And you're happy with that, and you're like, it's good. Those are the people that stick around for me. Those have always been the ones who stick around.
Now, number four, at some point, sacrificing compromise will be necessary; I'm talking out both sides of my mouth and saying, on the other hand, there are times where it's like, if you want big results, sometimes you have to make big sacrifices and compromises. You have to take big steps. You can't be, you know, Mars, Neptune is also like, the martyr. Now you don't have to be the literal martyr who literally dies to be a martyr. A martyr is, in a sense, it's someone who is making a great sacrifice. And, you know, Mars Neptune is about sacrifice and compromise. And if you want to get to that big sort of Neptunian dream, whatever it may be, if it's God, if it's writing a book, you know, it's it can appear in many different valences is, but ultimately, it's the same energy fueling us, which is the desire for something divine and amazing, something that is rapturous and beautiful, subtle, timeless, eternal. And, you know, we chase that in so many different ways. And Mars is propelling us along the way. It's some point, you might have to take big steps, make big compromises, make big sacrifices, and that's part of it too. You know, it's at some point, it's sort of like there will be moments where it's incremental, and then there'll be moments where it's like, go big, go home, you know, have you not had both experiences in your life in order to get somewhere you have to go bigger, go home. At other times, it's like, I just need that gentle, incremental encouraging grace. So there's both with Mars Neptune; you have to discern in your heart where you're at. Is it time to be courageous, take a big step, is it time to look for that incremental grace to be accepting, be careful of making your sacrum stiff and your hips still in the heart suffocates. Gotta be careful.
Number five, Grace cannot be found without failure. I'm going to read you guys something that comes at the very end of this book, which I have so deeply enjoyed. Religious but not Religious, Living a Symbolic Life. This is something that I've been looking at myself, you know, as someone who's gotten a lot more serious about the path of bhakti-yoga but also has had a sort of a love-hate relationship with getting the camera back to focus there. I've had a sort of love-hate relationship with the institutions associated with religions and the way that no matter how personal a tradition claims to be, it's, the essence of I Ching may be about the personal transformation. But institutions, by nature, tend to be very impersonal and objectifying. And that's always to me, you know, I grew up in the Christian church as a preacher's kid, I, I felt that I'm certainly can't say I don't think we should hold institutions, religious institutions to some standard of perfection, they're human. But there's always that human element that you're contending with. And this book has been really meaningful for me as someone who has daily religious experience at the forefront of my, you know, that's it's been my top priority is today is about religious experience. By that, for me, it's Mantra, meditation, reading of sacred texts, and making these videos connecting with all of you sharing a spiritual path with spiritual people, you know, communing with my friends in the bhakti-yoga world, whatever, going to a Quaker service. This is for me; this is so important. But as someone who does this every day, you know, it's also like, it's not easy there are edges that you come up against, how do you work through them, this book by Jason Smith, religious but not religious, has been deeply valuable for me in terms of dealing with some of those stressors. At the very end of the book, he talks about in the book, how he's a kind of a mystical Christian. But in the end, he's a union too. In the end, there's a section called emptiness and kenosis. I'm going to read it to you and then finish off with his fifth point.
The psychological experience of an empty center finds resonance in virtually every religious tradition, if not always within a religion's mainstream expression, then certainly through the contemplative or mystical aspect of this of that tradition. In this regard, we find the concept of soon Yatta and Buddhism the void in Taoism, your guna Brahman and Hinduism, a yin and mystical Judaism, and the aspect of Allah as Albertine, the hidden one. I hope I'm pronouncing that right.
In Islam, each of these symbols is an expression of nothingness or emptiness, which is not to be understood here as negation. Rather, it should be regarded as the source and fullness of all things that yet cannot be known or named within the field of consciousness. The Christian tradition, too, has its expression of emptiness in the form of the theological idea of kenosis, which is derived from the phrase in Paul's letter to the Philippians, where he states that Christ emptied himself of his divinity in order to become a human being. That Philippians two seven kenosis is worth looking at here in more detail as it provides an archetypal the grounded image of a living essence that becomes more fully realized and that act of giving itself up or of going beyond itself.
A quick survey of the qualities used to describe kenosis will show some of the contours of this important symbolic idea. Can kenosis is described as a self-emptying, a humbling, and a pouring out; it is said to proceed through self-limitation rather than self-interest, letting go rather than clinging and giving away rather than possessing. At the same time, the self-surrender is also self-realization, a letting go of a false self so that a true self can emerge. The paradoxical nature of kenosis is nicely articulated by Alan Watts, who offers an essential insight into the economic dimension of Christianity when he says, the basic theme of the Christ story is that of these this expressed image of God becomes the source of life and the very act of being destroyed. This is the paradox spoken by Jesus Himself to His disciples when he taught them that quote, Those who tried to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it in the symbol of kenosis. Then we have an image of the self-presentation of the Divine that simultaneously points away from itself. In other words, kenosis in particular and emptiness more generally, as expressed in all religious traditions, can be understood as the archetypal background of what is conveyed in that phrase religious but not religious. To the religious attitude is properly empty kenotic. It maintains an awareness of the ultimate mystery of life and does not cling to the forms through which that mystery is sensed. It understands that although we need structures with which we can meet the contingencies of life and through which we can gain some understanding of its depth, ultimately, what we call Truth or knowledge or reality, or God exceeds what those names and structures are able to contain. We cannot do without our structures, language, image, theory, symbol, or story; all these are points of orientation, without which we would be lost in the chaos of the infinite stimuli of living chaos, which we only reinforced through our current preoccupation with the proliferation of data and information.
Nevertheless, we must be willing to let our structures go, or else they can become barriers to the individual adventure of being alive. Jung was acutely aware that all our structures, be they religious symbols or psychological concepts, were in the end, but human veils and curtains concealing the invisible dark at abysmal darkness of the unknowable, the best that human beings could do in the face of the transcendent mystery of life Jung felt was to, quote "paint the world with divine colors."
We find ourselves in a position, in other words, in which we must learn what I would call the art of knowing but not knowing. We must find ways to be in a relationship with what cannot be known, a possession of the mind. Ultimately, it is not what we know that matters but what we live. Our concepts and ideas, whether psychological or spiritual, scientific or religious, are like mirrors in which the reflection of truth can be glimpsed, though not fully known as in a face-to-face encounter. At best, they are partial and incomplete expressions of the experiences they are attempting to describe. This means it is not so important that we are in possession of the ultimate and final truth, as that will always remain beyond our grasp.
What is important is that we are able to experience a truth that brings us more alive, one that awakens the heart to love the soul to beauty in the mind to the wonder of life. That's the final passage in the book.
So point number five coming off from that beautiful passage about kenosis and emptying oneself is that, you know, Mars Neptune, again, its big fault is that it tends to get zealous about things, it tends to get really extreme and in being possessed by this zealousness. Even if you're in touch with something beautiful Neptune, something divine Neptune, something otherworldly Neptune, something just righteous and beautiful Neptune that you can still get possessed by the intensity of anger, the intensity of self-righteousness, the intensity of scolding, hating, degrading intolerance, you know, you can, you can still get possessed by that even in the midst of what you find to be most beautiful, most ideal, most appropriate. So, because of that, there is something that we need every day in our lives as students of the Divine and lovers of the Divine. And that's failure. Not the failure that says ultimately there is no truth or the failure that says no form will ever do. Or you should never belong to any kind of group, or you should never have any practice, or you should never have any beliefs because they'll all just fail.
No. It's a simpler and much more embarrassingly mundane kind of failure. It's the failure of not liking to practice. It's the failure of sucking at your meditation, right? It's the everyday failure. It's the failure to live up to the ideal. It's because how can you be graceful and compassionate, and forgiving? How can you know where to stand when you're in the role of being an encourager or a teacher or a guide for someone else? Is it in your care somehow by the grace of the universe? How can you know how to stand on just that next step up if you haven't fallen down so many steps yourself and recognize how important it was to fail? How much divinity there is in failure, in the constant emptying of our religious certitudes? Do you know what I mean? So it's an important part of our life every day to have our beliefs, our certainties or doctrines or dogmas or scriptures fail in some way. Failure does not mean negation. Failure does not mean relativizing everything to the point where nothing is helpful, or nothing can be trusted. There's so much impatience when it comes to failure. It's like, well, if something fails, if something fails, then you know, how can I trust it? And if I can't trust it, then it's a slippery slope. And before you know it, you know, I'll be in hell with Beelzebub. You know, like, where's our faith? Where's our faith in failure and its ability to communicate something of compassion and tolerance. So we have to be compassionate and patient with our own failures; otherwise, we will not receive the grace that we're in need of, but also, you know, we have to be patient, so patient with the failures of everything and everyone around us of our spirituality of our practices of all this stuff. Astrology fails me all the time, man. You know, just like, Yeah, I just have days where I'm like, screw astrology. I mean, I show up anyway; it's my job. It's not like, you know, it's like, I have to show up. This is how I earn my living. And I'm happy that somehow it's my job because I feel like, you know, failure is, is fine. You know, quitting, maybe not so much, but failure is fine. And the more we become really intimately familiar with failure, failure, I think, the Wiser, gentler, and more encouraging we become, and that's when our will, our influence, Mars can have such a rippling effect and be so positively influential with other people. And you can feel it when someone's like, aware of their own failings because there's a hesitancy around getting to certain or righteous or condemning things, even if you know you're in the right in some ways to condemn them. It's like there's a cautiousness, and there's more you feel more love and patience and care tenderness, then you feel the intensity of the rightness Mars Neptune lessons that I know I need like often and I hope you can relate to them too. Thank you guys so much for listening today.
I hope you guys are having a good one. We'll be back tomorrow. I think we'll probably take a look at Mars Neptune conjunction through the signs. All right, take it easy, everyone.