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It's so easy to make friends with a cancer.
They're proud of how quirky, crazy and random they are, so being with them is like having the permission to let out your weird side as well.
Cancer rules the home and being with one definitely feels like coming home and being able to take off your (Capricornian) business suit and just relax.
Capricorn is the polar opposite, ruling the "real world", your career and public standing.

Cancer is the tides of the ocean - just letting yourself be dragged with the stream.
Capricorn is the goat climbing the mountain - it's effort and discipline.
Cancer feels like coming home into your mother's arms.
Capricorn feels like being under the judgmental view of a strict father.
Capricorn feels like buttoning up.
Cancer feels like popping buttons.

However, Cancer is not all good and sweet and hugs and smiles and rainbows and sunshine and cupcakes.
And Capricorn is not all bad either - it takes a lot of pressure to create a diamond.
Crabs, however, are always protected by their shells, and will therefore stay soft and mushy on the inside. Like the child that refuses to grow up, take responsibility and be independent. The crabby, moody, needy baby, that guilts others for abandoning them is the undeveloped Cancer archetype.

In a way, this is an axis of time: Capricorn is ruled by Saturn (Chronos, god of time), a symbol for growing old and wise; and Cancer is ruled by the moon - the symbol of phases and cycles, the most ancient calendar! Cancer lives with the seasons of nature, with the phases of the moon, the menstrual cycle, and other natural ways of time-keeping.
Capricorn is all about man-made systems.
Capricorn is concerned with law, rules, manners, ethic codes, "should"s and "shouldn't"s, with "what will people think?"
Cancer lives by their own rhythm, inner cycles, and intuition.

In the end, as with all opposing signs - one can't exist without the contrast of the other. Opposites are the same, differing only in degree. You can't define "private" (Cancer) without knowing the contrast of "public" (Capricorn).
We have to flow in between these opposites.
Especially with many planets in Cancer and the 4th house or Capricorn and the 10th house respectively, you have to be aware of the contrast to avoid being too lop-sided.
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Even though there is a 1st House in the chart, a circle really has no such thing as a beginning. So, in a way, the 12th House precedes the 1st. What can we say about something that precedes birth, advent? What existed before the flower burst (Aries, 1st house) through the earth (Taurus, 2nd house)?
The kernel in the soil. It's invisible, but it holds the potential for life.
That is why, since the 12th house rules the potentials that existed prior to our coming into existence, it is associated with karma.

Planets in the 12th House behave a lot like kernels in the soil or babies in the womb: they develop in the dark - hidden and invisible. They dare not come forth.
These planets are often reluctant to become integrated parts of our psyches because they feel they aren't ready to be born, to be seen, to emerge into the "real world".
All humans are born premature. It takes years for us to become independent and develop fully.
Planets in the 12th House feel the same way - overwhelmed by the chaos, tasks, and responsibilities of the world.
They retreat into solitude, invisibility, and the unconscious.

That is where the association of the 12th House with asylums comes from.
Actually, this is just the most common one, but this house is really connected to all places of seclusion, solitude, or exile - and all abandoned places.
All places where we can heal, retreat, or develop in the dark and unseen - like a kernel in the soil. Like a person in hospital, in an asylum, in prison, detention, foreign countries,....
Any planet in the 12th house is basically abandoned and neglected.
It's a kind of self-deception and self-undoing to think that not facing the principle associated with that planet consciously will somehow make it take care of itself.


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When Neptune touches Mercury in someone's birth chart by aspect - conjunction, opposition, square, trine, or sextile - there are no limits or boundaries to someone's mind and imagination.
This means that they are very creative, full of ideas, and have a vivid imagination, but - on the downside - they could also go as far as "inventing" a false reality by lying or living in a fantasy in their own heads.

Head in the cloudsTheir mind frequently wanders to other realms, they space out and they have a hard time staying focused. Because they are quite absent-minded, there can be a lot of confusion, forgetfulness and misunderstandings.
They have a lot of semi-conscious thought processes. Like a radio, they constantly pick up on many channels but have a hard time tuning into just one clearly, without background noise.

They are usually very subjective and, at worst, have difficulties distinguishing fantasy from reality. Their mental processes and way of thinking are frequently naive, childlike and unrealistic.
They don't like accepting a mundane and logical explanation and long for a deeper more magical meaning, which is why they tend to dramatize things or connect a higher meaning to ordinary things ("that wasn't the wind, it was a ghost!").
That is why a lot of people with Mercury Neptune aspects are superstitious or gullible and easily conned - they want to buy into something unrealistic - it's more fascinating.
They often lack street smarts and common sense.


"Air heads"Especially the hard aspects between Mercury and Neptune - the square and the opposition - but also the conjunction (if Mercury is placed badly in Pisces, Sagittarius, or Leo) lead to learning difficulties or disabilities.
Anything which follows rules or formulas - such as maths and spelling - is hard for them, but anything that leaves room for interpretation and creativity - such as art and creative writing - is their strength.
They are not detail-oriented and don't like accuracy and precision. Their thinking isn't linear and they often have a bad sense of direction.


Another problem with Mercury Neptune contacts is that it can give someone a hard time finding the right words to express their thoughts or to make a clear point. They stumble over their own words or need a lot of time to find the right expression.
Their minds aren't clear and straight-forward so they also struggle to know what their own opinion or stance on something is and to express that clearly.
Their minds may be like a sponge, absorbing other people's words and opinions. If there's a writer, speaker, or any person they idolize, they might just repeat their words like a parrot.
Very frequently, they adopt verbal quirks or "catchphrases" etc. of the people they spend a lot of time with.

Musicians, Actors, and WritersAs I already mentioned, Mercury Neptune aspects indicate great imagination and creativity.
Although this aspect also has to do with lying, one could say that fiction and acting are positive manifestations of lying.
Many great authors, actors, screenwriters and lyricists have this planetary combination - the square seems to be especially frequent among gifted musicians.
Neptune rules photography and movies, any type of manipulation or glamorization of reality, so these people could also be very skilled at photoshop and the like.
These people are able to channel the collective unconscious into music and stories. They also easily understand the messages their unconscious mind is trying to convey to them through their dreams and are good at interpreting other people's dreams too.

Some musicians with this aspect include David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Mozart, Jim Morrison (all have the square), Bono (opposition), Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and Zayn Malik (conjunction).

As for the actors: Jim Carrey has the square, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, and Emma Watson have the trine, Drew Barrymore has the sextile (which is especially fitting since she also played a character with short-term memory loss in the movie 50 First Dates).

Since Neptune dissolves any boundaries, these people might have the opposite of writers block: they constantly have inspiration to write and the words flow out of them with a bottomless supply of ideas, feelings, fantasies, stories, and thoughts to put on paper. For some it might lead to oversharing - there is no "filter", so these people are a lot like children in that they may say a lot of nonsense sprinkled with hidden gems of wisdom.
So many great and succesful authors have this aspect, including Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King (conjunction), Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck (trine), Ernest Hemingway (sextile), Virginia Woolf (square), and C.S. Lewis (opposition).

During my research on Mercury Neptune aspects, I was amazed by how many of the greatest and most successful screenwriters have this aspect. Christopher Nolan has an almost exact square, David Lynch also has the square aspect, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron have the sextile, Wes Anderson has the opposition - that's basically all the great screenwriters of our time, excluding Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino. But Woody Allen has a Sun Neptune square and Quentin Tarantino has a Moon Neptune opposition. So whenever there's a talent for coming up with stories, glamorizing reality and creating a fantasy, Neptune is definitely at play.



Advertisement, Journalism, and Propaganda
When Mercury and Neptune combine, there can be a distortion of the truth and it can show a talent for influencing other people and impressing ideas and thoughts onto their minds - in advertising, journalism, or newspaper reporting, for example.

A Mercury-Neptune aspect is great at leaving out anything which gets in the way of a well-rounded story and bending the facts so as to make the story more interesting or to match a certain agenda or make a certain point. This is great for journalism and newspaper reporting, especially for glamorous or scandalous tabloids or even propaganda. Perez Hilton has Mercury trine Neptune, for example, and he is one of the most well-known celebrity gossip bloggers.

This aspect also indicates a talent for advertising and selling, because somebody with a Mercury Neptune aspect can mold a product into whatever a customer wants and needs with their words.
A good Mercury/Neptune archetype or trope might be the snake oil salesman, somebody who sells a "cure-all miracle product" - basically someone who can talk you into buying useless crap and make you believe that it is exactly what you need.
If this isn't used for evil or egoistic purpose, this can of course be a great skill
Some people with this aspect are able to influence or inspire others through their speech - such as Vladimir Putin (conjunction), Donald Trump, or Abraham Lincoln (both have the square).

In school, especially those with sextiles and trines and also those with the conjunction can successfully ace presentations without preparation and "bullshit" their way through essays by making it sound like they know what they are talking about and like they have an important and very meaningful point to make. Likewise, in art class they might just create something randomly but then come up with some very inspiring "meaning" or "message" on the spot when asked to talk about their piece.
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Aries is like an eternal sunrise.
They're the fresh, youthful, exciting energy of new beginnings.
Their pioneering spirit pushes them to always jump head first into something new.
Too impatient and spontaneous to wait, ponder, or stay anywhere, they want to keep on blazing trails.
If something feels stale, old, or routined, they will leave to seek something else - something that is fresh and exhilarating.
The cardinal fire doesn't stop for anything or anyone.
There is something so simple and uncomplicated about this.
They don't plan and they don't have ulterior motives.
They simply want freshness, they want to be first, they want to win, they want to lead.
Although this energy can seem very aggressive, egocentric and pushy, they would never attack those who are weaker (because where's the competition with that?) and they would never have evil motives.
They simply do things because they want to. That's it.
They never plan to hurt anyone (although they sometimes do), because planning simply takes up too much time, and all they are ever focused on is action.
Aries wants so conquer.
Preferably, uncharted territory (because they want to be first, after all).
So, instead of sneakily taking something away from someone else, they simply go for what they want.
Aries is the promise of new beginnings, the exciting freshness of early mornings, sunrise, the beginning of spring.
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Pluto transit periods are the autumns of our lives.
Everything seems to die and fall away.
We will only be dragged with it when we refuse to let go.

Pluto rules death, but it is not the physical death.
Death reminds us that everything we accumulate in life will be stripped away one day.
We leave this earth only with the things we came here with - our naked bodies.
Not even a sense of identity, definitely not any material possessions, no belief systems.
So it is with Pluto transits: they are like a death in the sense that everything we thought we needed and everything our ego held onto and defined as "ours" is stripped away from us.
It can be freeing in the sense that once we realize we can live without this stuff (be it money, people, faith, success, etc), we realize our true power - we don't really need anyone or anything to survive.
Then we can choose to invite something into our lives, not from the position of a beggar, controlled by and at the mercy of something, relying on it.
Instead, it is a free choice with the knowledge that we do not depend on it.
With Pluto transits, there is a feeling of having to start from scratch.

You won't die, your relationship doesn't have to end, you won't have to lose your job - but you can't come out of the Pluto transits without letting go of how you used to be, how the relationship dynamic used to work, etc.
Pluto is about evolution. The thing that doesn't work anymore, that doesn't serve you anymore has to be left behind.
The things that don't adapt during the Plutonian evolution won't survive.

Before a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it turns into goo in the cocoon.
You have to become like this too, completely let go of control, have a near-death experience, be like goo, just allow life to happen, allow things to die off.
The caterpillar does survive technically, but in a completely different form. It's no longer a caterpillar, it's a butterfly. And this was only possible because it was willing to let the old self die. Everything survives Pluto transits, but in different forms.


"Don't grieve.
Anything you lose comes round in another form."
Rumi


When a person we love leaves us, love does not leave us. Because we are the source of it.
The love is in the person that loves, not in the one being loved.
So love can always come around in a different form. We are the source of love. We don't have to force love to stay alive in the form of a specific person or relationship or hobby or what have you - love is always there, somewhere.
Pluto is about realizing that the essence cannot die - which doesn't just relate to love.
We may have to find success and money through another career/job, we may have to find faith through another spiritual or religious path, we may have to find ourselves in another identity or style. But the essence never leaves us. In A Course in Miracles it says that "Nothing real can die" and Pluto is about learning to value the immortal essence of something more than the mortal shell.

People used to have animal sacrifice rituals because they saw in nature that whenever something dies something new can grow from these fertile grounds. Thats why, to make sure plants keep growing and animals keep reproducing, they would kill - death means life (paradoxically).
I think this is important in a metaphorical sense.
Whenever we feel stuck in life or as a person, we need to let something die so something new has a space to breathe and something to feed off of.
Thats what pluto teaches, to shed old skins, to be reborn like a phoenix, transform.
The motto of Pluto transits should be: don't force a dead thing to stay alive. Allow it to fertilize the grounds for something fresh.
The end of one thing is just the start of another thing.


"Pluto operates like a good parent or a wise spiritual master. He doesn’t engineer our suffering; our own confusion does that. It’s not the transit, but our resistance to it that creates the pain. We’re attached to something disempowering; it holds us back. The crucial part of Pluto’s interrogation is to identify “that which we hold most dear,” so we know what to relinquish. Initially we’re frightened it’s something external we must lose-a marriage, a child, our standing in the world. These may or may not disappear. But more often the real binkie we’re sucking on is some stupid notion that has been holding our limited world in place."
Dana Gerhardt 


Pluto transits are a time for getting rid of old beliefs and shells of personality like a snake shedding an old skin.
Getting rid of what no longer serves us, what has outlived its purpose, an evolution of the soul.

Celebrate the funeral of old beliefs and old ideas of who you are.
Get rid of the idea that something dying is bad.
The essence cannot die.


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Saturn is the energy of crystallization and homeostasis. This means that it's Saturn's job to slow down energy in order to make it solid. Saturn rules the physical world of matter, because matter is basically energy vibrating so slowly that it appears to be solid. Once energy is crystallized into a tangible form, this solidity needs to be preserved and conserved – that is homeostasis. Avoiding change, sticking to a certain form.

So whenever there is a strong influence of Saturn it means that things become defined, that possibilities narrow down and the tolerance for uncertainty and change decreases. It’s a heavy energy with lots of pressure, it’s all about compressing.
The Saturnian influence can feel very uncomfortable because it makes you more rigid and thus less able to deal with uncertainty and be flexible. You become worried, anxious, insecure and will hate any form of change. At the same time, there is a feeling of lack and deprivation. We are somehow stuck between feeling like the victim of our own circumstances and being terrified of changing anything. This is a very tough spot to be in.Time is another constraint put on us. Saturn makes us feel the pressure of time, makes us scared that we are behind or that we won’t have enough time and resources to get everything done.

The lesson of Saturn
Saturn gives a feeling of deprivation and lack. We feel punished and like a victim. We pity ourselves, look for a scapegoat and divert responsibility, blame someone else. This puts us into a powerless place of inferiority. However, if we identify as a victim, we fail to realize that the problems that are created by your mind can be solved by your mind. We have to take responsibility for them.

Saturn also deals with sickness and disease so both mental and physical ailments can come up during Saturn transits. Especially those which are related to lack - a lack in certain nutrients, a lack in energy,etc. While Saturn was transiting my 12th house (which deals with sleep and the unconscious) I started struggling with insomnia - sleep deprivation.
During times of both mental and physical illness it is important to love yourself and the process of healing more than you are afraid of the sickness. Especially with psychological or psychosomatic problems it is helpful to realize that they start in the mind and that you can end them with your mind. During Saturn transits, the same problem may come back up again and again so remind yourself that a problem only comes back when you are ready for an even higher level of healing.
Saturn is about maturation. According to Erich Fromm, the goal of psychological development and maturation is learning to deal with uncertainty. Psychological illnesses are the coping mechanisms of those who can’t deal with uncertainty in other ways. Dealing with uncertainty, mind you, does not mean getting rid of it. There is no certainty and no security in life. Security only exists in death. Life is insecurity. Being aware of this and not avoiding uncertainty but living in spite of it is psychological maturity and health.
The only certainty is uncertainty. As long as you are alive, there is uncertainty. Certainty exists only in death. So, uncertainty is a good thing! It means you are alive.

Fear is not the enemy
 “Take note that the fear exists, but still go on. That’s what I mean when I say go in spite of the fear. Trembling, okay; shaking, okay – go on! Tremble like a small new leaf in the strong wind. […] So be soft, be tender, be delicate, be afraid, but never be hindered by it and don’t repress it. […] So first drop the idea of dropping fear. Second, accept it; it is part of you. And third, watch it, observe it; try to understand why it is there and what it is. […] The only security possible is to start enjoying insecurity. That looks paradoxical, but all that is true in life is always paradoxical. Truth is a paradox. Love insecurity and it disappears. Not that you become secure, but when you start loving and enjoying insecurity, who bothers? There is no worry, no anxiety about it. And one remains open.” - Osho

This is not hard to do when you realize that that is what you have been doing your entire life. There’s always been insecurity and uncertainty and worry and fear and anxiety but you’ve always kept on living. And it will continue to be this way in the future. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Whether you are afraid or not does not matter.

“Attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love.”- A Course in Miracles

Some Advice
Be patient. Don’t hurry the process. Don’t think that you should be somebody else, that you should be somewhere else by now, that you should be doing something else by now. That’s like stirring muddy water. You need to be patient and just wait for the mud to settle and and the water to become clear. This is a process that can’t be forced. Practice patience. Things will fall into place. Things will develop the way they are supposed to. Wait for the lesson that this situation is teaching. Don’t panic trying to go back to how things used to be. You are not a victim and you don’t have to fix anything or perform a certain way. There is no fixed way of how things should be. You can’t hurry this. Trust and give it time.
Change your focus from fear to appreciation and from deprivation to gratitude. Being in complete gratitude for where you are right now will shift your energy.

Reminders:
Life is not a performance. Life has no goal. You can’t get life wrong. There’s no way to get everything done and right, because life is a constant journey and process.
You can always ask for help.
Tomorrow will take care of itself. Just take care of the things you can take care of now.
You are not a victim. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be. Whatever is happening is supposed to happen, be open to seeing why.
The only certainty is uncertainty. Don’t resist life, stay open and curious.
Whether you are scared or not, life will keep on unfolding.
What you resist persists. The assumption that fear needs be mastered asserts its power. Accept that it will always be there but live anyways.

To me personally it was really helpful to read articles and watch YouTube videos about Saturn Transits, because it made me feel like I wasn't just randomly doomed to live a tough life. It made me feel like there was a specific reason for this hard time in my life that you could point out on my astrological chart - Saturn is crossing my Sun and Ascendant.
People are able to predict these hard times when they look for Saturn transits. Other people feel the same way when going through these transits, that's why there's a ton of books and articles about Saturn transits indicating a rough period in your life.
You aren't the only one going through this. I knew my friend was going through the hardest time of her life three years earlier, which was when Saturn was crossing her Ascendant. This made it easier for me to accept that this is simply a phase that everyone will have to go through at some point in their lives.

If you can know for sure that this period will start with your Saturn transit, you can also trust that it will end with the Saturn transit.
That is the main thing that kept me going - Saturn will eventually leave my sign, even if it goes retrograde a few times and I experience setbacks again and again.
There is a season for everything. There are ebbs and flows.There is a time for this to happen, and there is a time for this to end. Just trust the process.
When you know for certain that this period will end, you aren't as desperate for it to be over. You can actually soak up the Saturnian lessons. Saturn wants us to mature and define ourselves and our lives more clearly. I recently heard someone say "Love the obstacle until it ceases to be one." Consciously try to learn as much as you can during this transit, make the most of it. Because it will be over.

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