©2010 by guest blogger, Ellen Longo
I used to hate being in groups but now I’ve learned to blend my energy with others when I want to and actually love being around compatible people. Even events like ball games are fun now, because I can “become” the people around me and have a blast.
And some background:
As a child I was raised with very strict, in fact, military, discipline. In astrological terms you would say with a very strong Saturn influence. The atmosphere in my home produced three results, all related to Neptune:
- I tended to withdraw into spiritual and romantic fantasies because it was the only place I had any power;
- I had no sense of personal boundaries as they were infringed upon daily by an overbearing authority figure;
- I didn’t develop a sense of self-discipline because there was so much external discipline imposed upon me.
I entered young adulthood drifting from place to place and person to person with very little sense of or appetite for “real life.” I was very open to the underlying currents of situations but had only a minimal sense of self-protection. I was uncomfortable in almost all social situations, from the smallest dinner party to the largest stadium event. I wanted nothing to do with rules or structure of any kind. My Neptune energy was very active but my Saturn energy was completely undeveloped.
So how did all this change? After thinking about this for a few days, I have to say it has to do with boundaries. In astrological terms you would say I developed my inner Saturn.
A Line in the Sand:
My awareness of my own Saturn began with a situation when the current authority figure in my life asked me to do something I just couldn’t do, to cross a line I just couldn’t cross. It was the first time I stood up and said NO to someone; to put what I felt and cared about in front of my fear of losing someone I loved.
This situation brought my first sense of my own authority; before that I was unaware that I had any. And it felt so good to protect myself and be willing to risk everything for it. I did lose everything from that decision, but that loss turned into self-reliance, education, my own business, building a house, and raising a child. Of course, the unfolding of this inner authority took many years, but little by little I learned about a rock solid place inside myself that was my safe haven, and I learned to honor it.
A Tiny Incident, A Major Shift:
In some people, once they find the self-protective instinct of Saturn it becomes an enclosure that they can’t find their way out of. Other more Neptunian types are so prone to giving their power to others that they can never stand up for themselves. Neither of these lasted long for me and for this I credit my spiritual teacher. It’s funny how a tiny incident can lead to a major life change.
One day I was in a large room with my teacher and several hundred other people. A woman came up to the teacher and the teacher noticed that the woman was wearing a locket around her neck in the shape of a heart, and the locket was open. She said to the woman, “Your locket is open.” And the woman looked down and said, “That’s because my heart is always open.” And the teacher said, “Ah, but you have to learn to open it and to close it.”
This incident sparked a whole new understanding of boundaries for me. Until that time I thought a “spiritual” person had to have their heart constantly splayed out in order to be truly open. I learned that my boundaries are my own and they are malleable according to my discrimination and my will. My circle can expand to encompass the whole of the universe; or I can contract that circle to the smallest sphere so that only my family is invited inside. That’s the key: I’ve learned that I am the gatekeeper. What I invite inside is welcome inside. What I don’t invite doesn’t come in.
Now for the fun part:
This has completely freed my life. Now I can go to the most raucous ballgame and whole-heartedly join the crowd and have a blast. Nothing is more fun than to lose myself in the glee of a shared victory. But when I leave the stadium and step into the streets of New York I draw my shield of self-protection close around me.
I can go to a park and meld into nature, but then I sit at my desk and focus on accounting or tax work. I expand or contract as the situation requires. I can close my heart and move right through a dangerous minefield of negativity and then open it again to relax into the vibrations of a loving friend.
So my story comes down to learning self-authority, boundaries, and discrimination, all Saturn qualities. Once I learned to internalize the authoritarian face of Saturn, it turned into self-protection. And once I learned self-protection, I learned I can blend as much or as little as I will – it’s my choice.
(See a related article on Skywriter here: Getting a Grip on Saturn-Neptune Aspects.)
About the Author: Ellen Longo is a practicing astrologer and businesswoman. As a CPA, business owner, and former executive level manager for a global non-profit organization, she specializes in applying astrology to career and business situations. She writes two blogs: Astro4Business Intersections, which explores the astrological dimensions of leadership and business, and Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog, which explores everything else! She is currently writing a series of blogs on the authentic leadership qualities of each sign. A student of an Indian Master since 1985, Ellen is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Archetypal Cosmology and Conscious Evolution with the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.
Other posts related to Neptune on Ellen’s Blog: