My Neptune/Saturn Desert Trip

Painting Borrego Springs  Louis Krupp

My trip to the desert this weekend highlighted how much I prefer to see reality these days through a soft focus lens.  With five planets transiting through the nebulous sign of Pisces, I suspect I’m not the only one.  As Saturn (reality) continues its trek through the depths of Scorpio (squaring my Sun, North Node, Ascendent, and Mercury) my experiences are highlighting my preferences and giving me some insight into just how much reality I can tolerate before I flip into my own version of seeing what I want to see. This weekend I set the stage by drawing some early conclusions about the Anza Borrego Desert.  As we passed adorable little jeeps on our way to remote Font’s Point, a breathtaking panoramic sight of eroded badlands, soft clouds, shifting shadows, and soft pink hues over the distant Laguna Mountains, everyone waved and smiled. I imagined the carefree lifestyle of travelers and locals  bouncing in their jeeps on a Saturday morning toward one of the most beautiful spots in the world.  I was spellbound feeling the mixture of warm friendliness and the surreal landscape. That spell was almost broken as I listened later to an explanation of how the real motivation behind the waves and smiles was self-preservation. There is always potential for trouble in the desert – a snake bite maybe, running out of water, a broken down vehicle.  It was simply smart to make sure you created some good will along the way so that others might be more inclined to help you if you needed it.  Really? I struggled to dismiss that. I preferred my own version of people naturally inclined toward friendly helpfulness whether they could remember you waving  or not. Later that evening I was surprised to learn that City Ballet of San Diego was performing at a small theatre in Borrego Springs on Saturday night.  A ballet lover, I was thrilled our paths crossed in the desert, a rare coincidence that aligned perfectly with my desire to be transported into some kind of fantasy world. In retrospect, though, sitting too close to the stage was a Saturnian experience I wasn’t in the mood for. The strain, the sweat, and the dancer’s hard landings were all too obvious from my up close perspective.  The small stage forced careful calculation, transforming big leaps into sensible smaller ones, and diminishing a potentially spectacular series of pique turns.  I understand a dancer’s reality and the professionalism they displayed in adjusting to their surroundings.  But I was more in the mood to pretend that it was all effortless as it might have appeared if I had chosen to sit several rows back.  But then there was dinner at the most charming little French restaurant in the most unlikely of places.  The authentic atmosphere, a French waiter speaking his delightful version of English, little white lights, and the beautiful memories Michael and I shared over our amazing meal. There was also the moonless desert night sky visited late at night from the comfort of a hot tub, a reality so vast and all encompassing I could only feel amazement and small inklings of connections to my real place in the universe.  And then back to a mixture of earth reality and another world.  On a cold three mile hike the next day up a mountain looking for big horn sheep and a palm oasis my body resisted.  I thought about how different a mountain looks up close. And then, a few miles up, standing in the middle of the oasis amidst narrow streams of light seeping through densely packed palms, I sensed mysterious echoes from the past and stood quietly, indulging and embellishing for as long as I could.  On the way home, in a warm coffee shop, in the snowy little town of Julian, I was one last time transported by a spectacular piece of apple pie. Astrologically it’s common to think of the balancing effect Saturn has on our Neptunian tendencies to become unrealistic slackers.  But I’m loving the modulating effect Neptune is having on Saturn’s tendency toward overwork and disillusionment. Pisces energy is very strong now for a reason and I’m loving her effects.  I hope you’re experiencing the same.

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