Pluto, if you consider it a planet, is technically the farthest planet from the sun. Because Pluto’s orbit is elliptical, Neptune sometimes is farther.
In astrological symbolism, the planets from Mercury to Saturn are the inner planets and Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the outer planets.
The personal self, the one we see in the mirror, is a sun, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars phenomenon.
The sun is the conscious self, the moon the reactive self. Mercury is how we communicate, Venus where we find pleasure and Mars how we assert ourselves (in defense of the sun).
This is the self you identify with first – I like chocolate ice cream, I’m Irish, I’m a good dancer, I’m different than others.
After Mars comes Jupiter and Saturn, which is where we learn that we have to share our toys. Why?
We share the planet with others. In order not to run into each other at intersections and kill others just because they get in our way, we create moral and physical rules for our society.
The Jupiter rule is that I don’t run through red lights because I might kill someone and killing others is bad. Saturn is the red light that enforces the rule.
Jupiter and Saturn describe how we play with others in our social sphere. Do we organize our society around religious or intellectual ideas? Do we ban rule breakers or confine them in a prison?
Jupiter brings the teachers and religious and spiritual leaders and Saturn brings the authority figures like military leaders, political leaders and cops.
Sometimes Jupiter and Saturn trade places – the priest acts more like a cop than a teacher (and metes out punishment) and the cop comes to the community to help the people (sharing in their community, not just patrolling it).
At one time, Saturn was the last known planet. Saturn, authority and boundary, was the limit. The limit was the limit.
Beyond the Self
Uranus begins, with lightning shock, where we disembark from the social order. As such, Uranus is unsettling and is felt by the personal and social selves to be anarchy.
How can we live with others if we don’t share beliefs and rules?
Too strong a dose of Uranus can affect one’s ability to adapt on earth. A small dose of lightning provides insight and a large dose electrocutes.
After Uranus cracks us open electrically, we face Neptune and Pluto.
Neptune is merging with all that is and Pluto is transformation. Which comes first?
Merging and transforming may change places occasionally in the solar system because they are a cycle. Our sun will blow up one day and die, just as the self will die. After it explodes, its remnants become cosmic dust and form new planets, solar systems and selves.
Energy can’t be destroyed, I hear.
How does one travel safely to Neptune?
Turning into cosmic dust and becoming a new star is a bit threatening to the self. It’s because the self doesn’t always see itself as cosmic dust, a bunch of molecules spinning in space, but holds onto the image of the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Travel to Neptune involves passing through the orbits of all the inner planets and Uranus. If you make it that far, the sun is but a speck, another little dot in a sky filled with dots.
While packing for your trip to to Neptune, don’t forget to bring a nice bottle of wine to open when you get there.