Today I want to refer you to an excellent post by Donna Cunningham on Mars/Neptune and the recent deaths of 2 people (and the illnesses of many more) who participated in a “Spiritual Warrior” program run by James Arthur Ray, a man perhaps best known for his association with “The Secret.” The people died as a result of being in what was labeled a sweat lodge but what was apparently a concoction of Ray himself, one utilizing extreme heat in ways not generally used by those who organize a more traditional sweat lodge ceremony.
Cunningham talks specifically about Mars and Neptune in her post, and I have to admit ‘Neptune aspects’ was my first thought when I thought about what Ray’s birth chart might look like. It turns out that Ray’s chart (accurate birth time not known) also contains a Mars/Uranus square.
In my own personal experience, if you want to be associated with sudden, surprising and bad accidents, the Uranus/Mars square is one you want to seek out. It turns out that Ray’s previous ‘sweat lodge’ events have been associated with bad events in the past, although not on this scale.
The chart for the event itself also contains a wide Uranus/Pluto square (out of sign), and it is these wide squares that I see most commonly in events that affect many people.
But it would be foolish to say that any time these squares show up bad things will happen. Billions of people got through that day without any untoward events. While such squares may show up in after the fact analysis, they are not predictive.
The presence of Neptune aspects isn’t predictive either, although I’ll take a few words to weigh in on the planet of delusion at this point. The thing about Neptune is that he is the planet of transcending limits. In this respect, he is otherworldly, because real life (something Neptune is not fond of, real life) is full of limits.
Overly Neptunian people have a devil of a time reconciling themselves to this. They just do not want to believe it. It seems incomprehensible and illogical to them. If the mind can do many things, they reason, why can’t it do everything? Why acknowledge the existence of anything else?
These people want to live in a world of imagination, in which many of the normal limits do not apply. Sometimes they twist reality around so violently that they turn very real limits (e.g., the amount of time a body can go without being properly rehydrated) into irrelevancies in their own minds.
And then innocent people pay the price.
You could say it is the insanity of Neptune that makes Saturn so necessary. Saturn gets a bad rap because he insists on facing limits, getting grounded in reality, and understanding that suffering is a legitimate and appropriate response to many of the conditions of the real world.
The problem with Neptune is that it does not want to accept the legitimacy of ordinary human suffering. It attempts to escape it, transcend it, ignore it, deny it, and spin it into something entirely different.
Hence, we get Ray purportedly saying to his followers that the people who died attracted their deaths to themselves. No need to grieve, mourn, suffer, contemplate, acknowledge responsibility or limits. It’s a happy thing and we can all escape the legitimate sorrow that should accompany such an event by pretending that the deaths were the fault of the people who died. No one dies unless they want to. There are no tragedies, no accidents, and no evil in the Neptunian world. Just magical thoughts and magical outcomes that have no use for the reality that everyone else has to live in.
I could get real cynical at this point and say that the people who died did indeed attract their own deaths by signing up for a g*dd*mn scam by a semi-cult leader preaching bullsh*t. Their Saturns didn’t tell them to get the hell out of the tent and scram before something went horribly wrong. Or I could say that pushing responsibility for the deaths on the people who died is a strangely insidious and Neptunian form of evil. Perhaps I will get real cynical as my own personal buttons get pushed by this story.
But that would be mean, so perhaps I’ll just run a PSA from Saturn:
Hi folks, Saturn here. Remember that reality is a beautiful thing no matter how much you may not like it at any given moment. You don’t need to run around trying to think magical thoughts in order to get around its existence. You just have to respect it.
You don’t need to be attracting wealth all the time, turning your critical thinking faculties over to a guru, or believing that there’s some secret that will make life wonderful all the time if you just think the right things. Because it isn’t wonderful all the time. That’s what makes the times when it is wonderful so incredibly precious. Seriously.
So, as the official planetary sponsor of reality, I just want to remind you to be grateful for me occasionally. I may not talk as pretty as Neptune, but I am your friend. Really.