A Required Reading for Millennials
This past Capricorn season I celebrated my natal Neptune “birthday” honoring my inner “Dreamer.” First introduced to the concept of multiple birthdays by one of my favorite Astrologer’s Jeff Hinshaw, my Neptunian birthday is the day when the sun reaches the exact same point in the sky (degrees) as where my natal Neptune placement lies. We are most familiar with our Solar Birthday, when each year the sun (our essence) arrives at the same place in the sky as when we were born (our natal sun position). Yet, there are so many other parts of us that beg for our attention and long to be celebrated. Taking the time to reconnect to, and celebrate, these diverse pars of self begins the process of returning to wholeness. To who we were before the conditioning and trauma. For we are not a single speck of stardust, but a reflection of the entire cosmos. What follows are my musings on my natal Neptune in Capricorn this past Capricorn season.
Neptune is the Planet of dreams, imagination, transcendence, art, and mysticism. Where we find Neptune in our Natal Chart, we find the desire for cosmic unity and “oneness”. A longing to dissolve all boundaries, as seamlessly as the confluence of river and ocean. Neptune is the archetype of the Dreamer. The part of us that yearns for mystical experience, understanding there is so much more to life than the material world. Our inner Poet, whose celestial words transcend time and space. Our inner Romantic whose beating heart truly knows no bounds, knowing All as kin. In our modern, materialist, reductionist world, there is very little space for the Dreamer. Whether it’s the chronic cuts to arts funding in public schools, the demonization of the “radical left” and their dream of a world without prisons, the assassination of MLK and his dream of a racially just and truly liberated America, or the attempted deportation of the “Dreamers” by our white supremacist leaders, dreaming has been intentionally and violently suppressed. Dreams of liberation, justice, pleasure and joy are inherently dangerous to those in power and their carefully crafted systems of oppression. For far too long have the Gate Keepers of the dream world been wealthy/white/cis/het/able bodied people. It is time we reclaim our wildest dreams, abandoning their American nightmare. Call on your inner Dreamer and begin to awaken parts of Self repressed and long hidden. Work with your inner Artist dissolving harmful boundaries and useless “walls” with each stroke of the brush. Call on your inner Mystic and finally get comfortable conceding your wealth and privilege for the prosperity of all. Convene with your imagination and reclaim your sovereign right to dream.
Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is the sign of responsibility, boundaries, plans, structures and systems. As cardinal Earth, Capricorn initiates form. On the individual level Capricorn’s form takes shape as our bones, skeletal system and teeth. On the collective level Capricorn’s form takes shape as our infrastructure, time, government, law & order, and economic systems. As the Goat, Capricorn is no stranger to climbing dangerous heights, understanding that forethought, patience, and practicality are imperative for a safe ascent. With their eyes on the prize Capricorn initiates the long-term plan, deeply embodying “where there is a will there is a way”. May we heed this will with caution. While Capricorn’s ambition can be a noble pursuit, ambition for ambition’s sake can have severely adverse effects.
Neptune is a generational planet, meaning it changes signs every 12-15 years, taking 165 years to fully orbit the sun. Thus, the Dreamer wanders in broad strokes etching their energetic signature upon large swathes individuals. For those of the Neptune in Capricorn generation, such as myself (current day 22-36/37 year olds), it is of the utmost importance to regularly and vigorously assess our dreams, cleansing our dreamscape of those that are not our own. As Neptune seeks to dissolve all that it touches, in Capricorn this translates as the dissolution of responsibility, boundaries, structures, systems (economics, law & order), borders and reality. What does the dissolution of reality, borders, systems and structures, with a total disregard of responsibility look like on the ground? Colonization. In its lowest expression Neptune in Capricorn is the Colonizer, dreaming of a “New World” and stopping at nothing to have it.
The Dreamer most recently transited Capricorn in 1820-1835, and then again from 1984-1998. Neptune’s 19th century transit saw a second wave of European colonialism. Following the technological advances of the first industrial revolution and an increase in European population a mass swell of emigration began. North America, Africa, Asia and Australia saw an influx of European settlers dreaming of the “New World” and its abundant opportunity. In America this marked the period of Andrew Jackson’s presidency, a push westward, the signing of the “Indian Removal Act”, and the start of the heinous blood-soaked “Trail of Tears” that would take the lives of thousands of Indigenous peoples. Neptune’s 20th century transit (when current day Neptune in Capricorn babes were born) was an era when those in power exchanged the blatantly violent tactics of Settler Colonialism & War, for the more elusive ploys of Imperialism, Neo-Liberalism, and Globalization to expand their wealth and control. This was the age of massive market deregulation, US Interventionism, the foundations of Globalization and creation of the World Trade Organization. It was the era “Wall Street: America’s Dream Space”, as coined by Steve Fraser, with a mad rush to seize the moment of quick, easy (often grossly unethical and exploitive) money. Through the violent acts of colonization, imperialism and globalization both eras’ saw the total dissolution and mass erasure of Indigenous peoples and distinct cultures across the globe. A barbarous violation of the borders, land claims, and boundaries of millions of people, whether through brute force or lassiez-faire neo-liberal economic policies, was central to both transits. A complete disintegration of the justice systems of time immemorial; renouncing the laws of the land, the seasons and the setting sun for excessive ceaseless growth and capital. A total disbandment of economic safeguards meant to protect the lives of people and our planet against corporate abuse, child labor, pollution and hazardous working conditions; renouncing life for wealth. The Neptunian Capricorn era’s saw the vicious involuntary reinvention of reality for millions of people, reducing them to figments of the colonizers dream. Ages defined by the toxic narcissism of white supremacy and colonization, with the complete dissolution of responsibility to life and the greater good.
Born of this era it is the karmic duty of Neptune in Cap babes to vehemently engage in daily shadow work, also known as Decolonization… our collective shadow work. As the Neptune in Cap generation, the mark of the Colonizer was imprinted deep within our psyches. His violation of boundaries, selfishness, lies, unnatural laws, and ominous dreams were the conditions by which our unconscious infant selves were programmed. As Millennials (especially white/cis/het/neurotypical/able bodied Millennials) we see the mark of the Colonizer alive and well today, living through us in many toxic expressions. Often typecast as the most self-centered generation of all time, more concerned with their Selfie sticks, Self-Image and IG followings than the greater good and collective action, Millennials are notoriously narcissistic. As anthropologist Michael Maccoby differentiates between productive and unproductive Narcissism, he states “Narcissism can turn unproductive when, lacking self-knowledge and restraining anchors, narcissists become unrealistic dreamers.” Sound familiar? The white supremacist colonizer is the epitome of unrealistic, unsustainable, self-destructive dreams. And yet, some Nep Cap babes understand just how empty it is to stand alone atop the mountain and yearn desperately for some deeper greater meaning. Starved for something beyond the material world many Millennials have flocked to the spiritual and holistic wellness fields. Yoga studios, energy work, sage, the chakra system, herbal tinctures, manifestation and crystal magic… Millennials brought the once fringe “New Age” movement mainstream. And yet they neglect to recognize that their newfound spiritual practices are not “New Age” at all, but powerful ancient Indigenous knowledge systems developed over thousands of years. Medicinal and Spiritual practices that were violently stripped away from Indigenous peoples across the globe, only to later be appropriated and profited off by white people, while many BIPOC communities continue to struggle just to have their basic needs met. The “I don’t see race”, “peace and love”, “all lives matter” rhetoric of these “Spiritual Gangsters” is incredibly harmful; their words spiritually gaslighting the lived experiences and realities of BIPOC communities. Their “conscious” choice to opt out of “low vibe politics”, “surrendering to the path of least resistance” as “its all in your perspective…man”, is a new and extremely dangerous iteration of Neptune in Capricorn’s colonizing propensity. Narcissistic nihilism masquerading as “love and light” and cosmic unity. Hyper focused on “manifesting” a conscious relationship, bodily health or “abundance”, rather than universal healthcare, affordable housing, or acknowledging the harms caused by cultural appropriation, the so-called spiritual millennial has once again opted for “me” instead of “we”.
It is imperative that Neptune in Capricorn babes do the hard work of Decolonization. Every. Single. Day. Reclaiming their minds, hearts and dreams as their own. It is from this space of true connection to Self that stealing another’s medicines, resources, and culture becomes obsolete. Even for those of us “doing the work” there is always, always, more to undo. For by way of our cosmic blueprint we are all chronically predisposed to colonize. Thankfully, there is perhaps no sign more equipped for the persistent hard work of Decolonization than Capricorn.
The first step of making any lasting change is awareness; awareness there is some sort of issue worth changing in the first place. As Neptune in Cap babes when we move through the world with a conscious awareness of our inherent leaning towards the narcissism of colonization, we not only begin the process of making lasting change, but we also begin the process of awakening the many gifts of this placement. Oftentimes the fantastical dreams of Neptune never live see the light of day. Forever pipe dreams in the back of our minds that we escape to when the “real” world is to drab or painful to face. The Dreamer is an extraordinary escape artist. Whether through their fanciful daydreams, rose colored glasses, digging their head in the sand, or their own personal pharmacy Neptune is the master of evading reality. And even when the Dreamer manages to keep at least one foot on the ground, oftentimes their dreams remain naïve and unrealistic. The master of responsibility, boundaries, plans, and structure Capricorn offers Neptune the spoonful of sour they so desperately need. When Neptune meets the discipline, dedication, pragmatism and forethought of Capricorn what was once naïve becomes possible. When Capricorn is touched by the ethereal boundless imagination of Neptune what was once stubborn rigidity becomes resourceful adaptivity. Dreams of Decolonization and Abolition no longer remain just dreams, as they receive an anchor that grounds them in reality. Capricorn in Neptune offers us a map, outlining each step and every stop on the road to Decolonization. When the lofty dreams of Neptune meet the gravity of Capricorn the sky truly does become the limit.
In Neptune in Capricorn’s highest expression we see not only the actualization of our (non-self-centered) dreams, but authentic compassion and spiritual enlightenment. On its own Neptune’s “oneness” is deeply empathic, oftentimes to its detriment. Viscerally feeling the pain and suffering of others, as if it were their own, oftentimes leaves the Dreamer debilitated, drowning in a sea of inaction. With this loss of boundaries comes the loss of the cognitive and emotional resources to do anything about the atrocities of colonization and white supremacy. The grounding influence of Capricorn alchemizes Neptune’s empathic inaction, into compassionate action. Unlike empathy, compassion allows us to see and understand the pain of others, to hold space for them, while maintaining our own boundaries and sense of Self. From this space we can mobilize our resources and affect change for the greater good. From this space of deep and authentic compassion, Decolonization work becomes a non-negotiable. The narcissistic tendencies of the Neptune in Capricorn generation dissipate. Evading, numbing and spiritual gaslighting and bypassing are no longer options. We understand that human suffering is not something to “rise above”, but something we heal and change through our actions here on Earth, both personally and collectively. Capricorn reminds Neptune that boundaries are both good and necessary… boundaries keep us alive and mobilized. Neptune reminds Capricorn that boundaries can be soft and fluid…there is a difference between wall and a boundary. It is here, between heaven and Earth, we find that sweet spot of loving accountability… of Decolonization. It is here that we reclaim our dreams as our own, and truly birth an enlightened existence.
Throughout this past Capricorn season, I gifted my inner Dreamer with both the space for unadulterated dreaming, and the containers from which to create. I spent as much time as I could intentionally getting outside of colonial time, creating uninterrupted spaces to purify my dreams, and cleanse my being, including: ample time outdoors; taking daily naps; scheduling days of nothing and evenings alone; early AM’s waking up hours before the sunrise to dream, write and create, while the noise of the (white) “man-made” world remains dormant and still asleep. I made a commitment to my Dreamer to continue this work moving forward. A commitment to work at Decolonizing my mind, heart and dreams every single day, always aware of the colonizer within my natal chart. A commitment to act upon my dreams. A commitment to serving something greater than myself.