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Neptune Retrograde: Reconnecting With the Dream

by Kevin B. Burk, author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life.

In the Vedic traditions, there are three fundamental forces in the Universe, known as the Gunas: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Sattva is the infinite, ultimate creative potential, Tamas is the ultimate destructive force, and Rajas is the tension between the two, where all activity occurs. The three Gunas relate to the three outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Neptune is Sattva, the energy of infinite potential; Pluto is Tamas, the ultimate destructive force; and Uranus is Rajas, creating change and manifestation by connecting the energies of Neptune and Pluto.

Now, I should be very clear that the links between the outer planets and the Gunas are entirely my own; I’ve never encountered anyone else who has made these connections. However, once I associated the outer planets with the Gunas, I found I had a much broader and richer appreciation for the energy and functions of the outer planets than I had before.

For example, this association forever changed my understanding of Pluto. If Pluto is the energy of Tamas, it is the ultimate destructive force in the Universe. However, the ultimate destructive force in the Universe is unconditional love. Unconditional love will eventually destroy everything that is not true, obliterating all illusion, and leaving only what is true and eternal. This is the real function of Pluto. We don’t experience Pluto in this way, of course, because we experience the outer planets through the filter of our ego, which is neither true nor eternal, which means it can and will be obliterated by Pluto. Pluto scares the crap out of our egos.

Humanity is only just reaching the stage of our evolution where we can understand the energy of Uranus. Our average life span is now around 80 years: approximately the time it takes for Uranus to complete one orbit around the Sun. As a species, we’re waking up to the truth that there’s infinitely more to the Universe than what we perceive and experience in the third dimension.

And then, there’s Neptune.

Neptune’s orbit is approximately 165 years. Neptune is the next stage of human evolution, and the next great leap in our life spans. The challenge with Neptune is that it’s simply not possible to understand Neptune in only three dimensions; even if we factor in time and space and think in five dimensions, that’s not nearly enough to understand Neptune. Neptune is the infinite creative potential of the Universe. Neptune is the Truth that everything we experience is illusion; but more than that, Neptune is the Truth that everything that we imagine is true.

Let me attempt to illustrate. One of the most important new “discoveries” in the world today is that thoughts are things. Metaphysicians have known this truth for centuries; it’s one of the fundamental tenets of the “New Thought” movement of religion that includes Religious Science, Unity and Christian Science. And even though scientists would never put it so succinctly, it’s also the foundation of the most advanced branches of quantum physics. Reality is subjective, and thoughts are things.

Many of us can just about grasp that our thinking and our attitude has a tremendous influence on our experience of life. Some of us are able to take this even further and consciously create the things we desire in our lives through the application of these principles. This is just scratching the surface of Neptune.

Neptune is the Universal Truth that Thoughts are Things. Every thought exists. Every thought is real. Every thought anyone has ever had at any time, is real—as real, in fact, as what we call “reality.” Neptune is the truth that everything that could possibly exist, does exist. Everything.

Consider “everything” for a moment. It’s a much bigger concept than we realize.

Did you dream of being an astronaut as a child? You are one; that reality exists. Did you dream of having super powers or being a princess locked in a tower and rescued by a handsome prince? These realities exist, too, here and now. Everything is real, everything exists. Every thing. This is the Truth of Neptune.

The life we lead, the reality we experience is only one of a truly infinite number of options. We focus our attention on this particular choice, and the waveform collapses. (Quantum physics has discovered the truth that the act of observing changes that which is observed; they have yet to discover that it also changes that which is observing.) At any time, we can choose to observe (and experience) something else. At any time, we can completely change our experience of reality.

Most of us can accept this on a very small level. We can accept that we can attract a new relationship, a better job, or different avenues for creative expression. We know that the past does not equal the future, and that we have the ability to manifest our dreams.

The truth, however, the ultimate truth, is that we can also be an astronaut or a super hero. The only thing stopping us is our ego, and the fact that while we’re having our human experience on the planet Earth in the third dimension, that most of us can only think in four or five dimensions. The very few who think in more dimensions than that do not integrate into our society very well. Some are kept isolated behind the walls of think tanks where their visions are nurtured. Others are kept isolated behind walls of institutions where their visions are suppressed.

Pluto scares the crap out of our egos because it will eventually destroy them. Neptune scares the crap out of our egos because it calls their very existence into question. If All That Is is truly All That Is, where is the “I” in everything? Neptune dissolves all sense of separation, all sense of individuality, all sense of identity. I am you and you are me and he is she and we are all together.

We have a very limited understanding of Neptune. When Neptune touches our lives, we usually experience it as fantasy, as glamour, as imagination, as illusion, as escape. We catch glimpses of Neptune in the arts (especially in music and dance; also in film). We also experience Neptune as drugs and alcohol; experiences that either numb us to the pain of the reality we choose to experience, or, in rare cases, that allow us to escape the pain of our current reality and, for a brief time, experience a new one, one that our egos could never accept that we could easily experience without drugs. Neptune is also the stuff of transcendental experiences, whether they are encountered through meditation or through religion (or, as we’ve already discussed, through organic chemistry).

Neptune, in short, is a trip. Do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Neptune.

Neptune also makes it rather difficult to express a coherent point. If this article seems more fanciful, more loose, more lyrical than usual, you have Neptune to thank for that. Which, I hope, will bring me close to the original intention (the dream) I had for this article at the start of this journey.

As I write this, Neptune is retrograde in motion. (I’ll explain what this means in a moment). Neptune went retrograde on May 19, 2005, and will remain retrograde until October 26, 2005. (I’ll explain what this means to you, personally, in a moment, as well).

When a planet is in retrograde motion, it appears to move backwards through the ecliptic (the band of sky and stars that we associate with the zodiac). Obviously, the planets don’t actually change direction. Retrograde motion is an optical illusion. When we track the motion of the planets, we pretend that the Earth is the stationary center of the universe, and the planets orbit us. This, of course, is not the case. Because we’re observing the planets orbiting the Sun from the Earth (which is also orbiting the Sun, albeit at a different speed), from time to time, every planet appears to change direction. The only exception is the Moon, which actually does orbit the Earth.

Mercury goes retrograde about three times a year, for about three weeks each time. Venus goes retrograde every 18 months, for about six weeks. Mars goes retrograde every two years for a little over two months each cycle. The rest of the planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) retrograde once a year for up to five months at a time.

Retrograde cycles are extremely important. They represent times when we are forced to reflect, to reconsider, to go within; they occasionally present opportunities for us to make evolutionary leaps in our understanding of the energy of the retrograde planet.

When a planet is in retrograde motion, it is physically closer to the Earth than at any other time in its cycle. When planets are retrograde, we have an easier time connecting with their energy. We can communicate with the planets. We can ask for guidance and inspiration, and if we listen closely, we can receive it.

We are currently in a Neptune retrograde cycle. What this means to you, personally, is that for the next few months, you have an opportunity to experience a deeper, more personal connection with Neptune. (This is not a limited-time offer; this occurs every year.)

Now is the time to explore your dreams. Now is the time to imagine, to vision, to envision. Now is the time when, for many of us, the veil is the thinnest, when we are the most sensitive to the more subtle, spiritual truths that surround us. And, as I mentioned before, if you choose to communicate with Neptune, now is also the time to avoid operating heavy machinery.

When we connect with the energy of Neptune, when we tap into the infinite creative potential of the Universe, we begin to lose touch with our personal reality. This is not, in any way, a bad thing, at least in small doses. However, it’s important to recognize that when we do enter into an even slightly altered state of consciousness, we begin to lose touch with our physical bodies. We step out of “real” time and step into “dream” time. This is best experienced in the comfort of our own homes, and should never be experienced (for example) while driving.

Now, some of you are probably wondering why we would want to do this. (Some of you aren’t wondering: the experience itself sounds enticing. The rest of you already understand: many of you welcome the experience of Neptune and actively pursue the expansion of your consciousness.) The best answer I can give is that our dreams are important; more than that, our dreams are essential. And far too many of us have given up on our dreams altogether.

Our dreams are what drive us. Our dreams are what reveal our truly limitless potential. And our dreams are what enable us to explore that potential.

Now is the time to reconnect with our dreams. Now is the time to let go of the dreams that no longer serve us, and to take up new dreams that will nurture and entice and drive us along the next part of our path.

What are your dreams? Do you dream of love? Of freedom? Of success? Do you dream of loving, supportive relationships? What is your dream of yourself?

If you choose to do so, now is the time to explore these dreams. Now is the time to ask for a new dream. And now is the time to listen for the answer; to listen for the truth that your dreams are real. Your dreams exist. Your dreams are manifest. Your dreams are now. If you do not like your current dream, all you need do is change it.

“Life, what is it but a dream?”

Truer words were never spoken. And our egos will just have to deal with it.

Kevin B. Burk is the author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life. Visit for a FREE Report on creating Amazing Relationships.

©2006 Kevin B. Burk, all rights reserved. If you would like to reprint this article in your publication, web page, or eZine (which you may do for free!), click here for details.


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