Exploring the Imaginary Worlds of Neptune

When the veil between worlds is thin…

Lately I’ve found myself exploring memories, especially those far away in the land known as childhood.

Usually the journey begins in the present, with something in the here and now reminding me of something in the there and then… a connection, association is made within, and an invitation is sent out from the past to come explore for a moment, and perhaps discover something there which is relevant to the here.

Feeling is the best magic carpet for carrying you backwards in time. That feeling can be evoked by sensory stimuli – a sound, a scent, a taste, touch or sight which seems strangely familiar to a you, whispers of the once upon a time.

Whenever I notice a trending experience in myself, I like to have a look at my natal chart to see if there’s a correlation – this remembering of memories has a dream-like quality to it and feels very much like Neptune at work.

My natal Neptune is in Scorpio… and at the moment transiting Mercury (which is about to go retrograde) and Venus are joining it, stimulating and stirring it awake, into consciousness in a rather lovely and interesting way.

Neptune moves incredibly slowly through the signs, so all of those who were born between December of 1955 (except for those born in March – October 1956) and November of 1970 have Neptune in Scorpio.

“this generation’s dreams isn’t so much a beautiful dream as it is a beautiful nightmare of intimacy and intensity. Called Generation X, (almost as if to say, “after those Baby Boomers we have to name these kids something—but what??”) this group’s dream is intimate connection, no matter into what dark places it may lead us.”

excerpt from Neptune and the Generational Dream by Jamie of Pandora Astrology

I was born towards the end of Neptune’s transit through the celestial scorpion.

The Sabian Symbol for its degree is – The King Of The Fairies Approaching His Domain.

Which is funny because… as Mercury and Venus approached my natal Neptune, I was playing a virtual reality video game – Déraciné – where the main character (which is you in the game) is a faerie.

Déraciné cover art.

You as the faerie are tasked with helping children in a boarding school believe in you… but as their belief in you grows it causes all sorts of problems which you are then required to travel back in time to prevent. At one point you realise you’re stuck in a loop, moving backwards and forwards in time, revisiting the same parts again and again, interacting with ghosts of memory, trying to change events yet each change only creates more events in need of changing.

It was both a wonderful dream and a terrible nightmare. An incredibly beautiful, haunting and poetic, world to visit… but thank goodness there was a way out of it.

I’m not going to spoiler it, but the way out of it was something which… reminded me of loops I have been stuck in in my own life, and one of the solutions I came up with while trying to solve those personal puzzles, get myself unstuck and out of the loop.

Playing a video game while wearing a virtual reality headset not only thins the veil between the worlds of RL and game, but allows the player to cross over into the virtual world and experience it as almost real. It gives you a greater appreciation of the artistry of the game’s creators – you’re inside their creative dream made real.

It was such a fascinating experience that once I’d finished playing Déraciné I wanted to play another virtual reality game.

I prefer puzzle games to fighting games… although fighting games can be great fun, a harmless way to release pent up stress.

You can be a homicidal maniac (that’s most likely my Mars in Scorpio talking) without any of the consequences of being that in RL. There are in-game consequences, but you can often solve those by killing more people or running away until everyone forgets about what you did. Bodies also have a way of vanishing after a while, sometimes they disintegrate the moment you kill them.

Although I do wonder sometimes… if it’s all a psychological experiment disguised as a game, and there are scientists gathering data about you, the player, and your choices, especially when the gameplay allows you to choose between killing someone or sparing their life.

An Assassin’s Creed Odyssey choice – freedom or slavery?

In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (which is magnificent, and it also has a Discovery Tour which is like a game version of a history lesson) there were many choices to make, and your choice affects certain parts of the story and how it plays out.

In one instance my partner and I spared the life of a rather questionable person, and later on he poisons someone else – a groom during wedding celebrations. If we’d killed him instead of sparing his life, the groom would not have died, the bride would not have been thrown into deep grieving despair and she wouldn’t have gone on a murder rampage (started a war with a neighbouring nation with whom she’d made peace until her loved one was killed).

If it is a psychological experiment, the scientists gathering data might find it confusing to monitor players like myself since my partner and I take turns playing and have different styles.

I like to wander around the game worlds exploring… and regularly end up dead because I fall off cliffs, stumble into lava, drown, get killed by beasts, and sometimes get stuck so I have to kill myself (during ACO the boat I was on broke and sank and I got stuck underneath it and couldn’t get out).

The next VR game I tried, A Chair in a Room: Greenwater, was set in an asylum, the main character had amnesia, and we were supposed to piece together the story, get back the lost memories. But it had a weird glitch which caused my hands to float away from my body and I couldn’t do any of the things I was supposed to do, instead I was busy chasing after my escaping hands, trying to get them to come back to my body.

It was kind of funny fun for a while… and a rather intriguing experience.

That glitch may have been caused by my failure to set the VR up properly. I’ll probably go back to the game later and see if I can fix it by doing things properly. But in the meantime I played something else.

Xing: The Land Beyond artwork

Xing: The Land Beyond… I’m very glad that this game gives the option to play it without the virtual reality headset because it made me nauseous with it on – something that can happen when playing VR games. It was gorgeous during the brief time I played in VR, especially the when there were sparkles all around you.

It’s reminiscent of Myst and Riven, but also had similarities to The Talos Principle which is one of my all time favourite puzzle games as it had brilliant puzzles but also philosophical ideas interwoven into it about existence – what is real and what is not real, who is who or what, are we all in a simulation, memories of people stored in a computer who still think they’re alive?

In Xing you’re dead but not dead, you’re in the world after physical death where you meet an ancient guardian who asks you to you explore the lives of other dead people.

I’m spoilering it a bit now – at the end you discover that all these other dead people were you in former lives, and your explorations were about retrieving yourself, joining yourself together.

That reminded me of something I often do when I explore my own former lives throughout the years in memory. It’s like going back there to unite that me with this me – and perhaps discover something which the past-me was keeping for present-me, waiting for me to come and get it.

But before you can unite your selves, you must solve some puzzles, journey through the memory, understand why you recall that time, place, event, and honour the experience, that you… which can be tricky sometimes if you don’t like that you or are unwilling to go back there, and perhaps see things from another perspective.

One of the dead people whose life we explored hated himself for all that he had done and become, and eventually killed himself by falling on his own sword.

It was stunning the way they shared the narrative of the lives – scrolls which unfolded, each one containing the progression of their life as they lived it.

The final level takes you on a path to never needing to be born and live again – this particular idea is one which has appealed to me ever since I first came across it decades ago while exploring theories of reincarnation.

But the way they presented it in Xing added something new-ish, a twist to the lens of perspective – it made me wonder up an imaginary world which merged with this one, the one called RL.

What if in this life, everyone we meet, read about, hear about is us – as in they are all past lives we have lived.

The ones we like are those we liked when we lived as them – those were happy lives. The ones we don’t like are ones we didn’t like being – those were unhappy lives.

Those who challenge us in this life, the ones who trouble us – those were lives where we died before we solved a personal puzzle, and they’re the lives we still need to relive and resolve only not as them but as separate from them yet connected via the problem which is seeking resolution.

I know that sounds and is very narcissistic – everyone is an extension of you, they all exist because of you, they are all you, it’s all about you.

The narcissistic view has been a constant theme in my life, an undercurrent flowing from before I was born as I was born due to a narcissist mother trying to solve a narcissistic drama problem with my narcissist father with a narcissistic solution.

My mother told me repeatedly when sharing my “birth story” with me, that I was created to make my parents less selfish. My birth was supposed to magically and miraculously make them better, happy, and return them to a life before – the wonderful, idyllic, nostalgically made perfect life they never actually had before.

I was supposed to fix their marital problems just by existing – except my father didn’t want children, my mother knew that, and to have me she tricked him, kept my prenatal existence a dirty little secret until it was too late to turn back time or get rid of the thing which wasn’t wanted.

Once I was born things between them got worse… and that became my fault, everything was wonderful, idyllic, nostalgically made perfect life before I was born, after my birth the dream turned into a nightmare.

If you’re confused by that… so was I.

I grew up living in between worlds.

My mother’s version of reality – if her world was a game, it would probably be the Atlantis DLC for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the level in Elysium with Queen Persephone being an almighty damsel in distress saint and martyr, smashing up a beautiful place when she was unhappy and torturing souls who dared say anything bad about her, punishing those who rebelled against her tyrannical rule. But in her eyes she was the nice one… everything she did was Hades’ fault. Playing that part of the game had me flashing backwards and forwards and longing to get the hell out of heaven!

My father’s version of reality – if his world was a game, it would probably be… it would have to be one with a tortured artist in it who was also a Machiavellian puppet-master. All I can think of right now is also from the Atlantis DLC for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the level in Hades. Hell was far nicer than heaven, and the way Hades was portrayed reminded me of my father. A tormented soul who in some ways was nicer than nice people (especially Persephone’s version of nice) because even though mean he was honest about being a manipulative villain.

My own version of reality – if my world was a game… it would definitely be The Witness.

facts about the game, The Witness

Sometimes the world within my family was like Skyrim, Witcher… one of those games where you’re a loner given quests by others to successfully complete – go fight that dragon for me and I’ll give you a key to that door which leads to a new area, fail and you’ll go nowhere. You shall not get passed me until you please me.

The world beyond seemed to be one of many treasures and pleasures… or so I imagined, but I couldn’t get there until I had completed the early quests given to me by those who didn’t really want me to complete them.

They gave me quests to fail, watched me try to succeed, put obstacles in the way if I looked like I was heading towards success, and if I did by some chance succeed, they’d turn my win into a loss.

All I really dreamed of doing was getting out of those worlds and exploring those beyond, and hopefully find one in which I felt as though I truly belonged.

In some ways I do that when playing games… step into the world and wait to see how it feels, is it one where I belong or not?

I tried out one called Sojourn recently and while it was beautiful, it had timers on everything, the tik tok tik tok was not for me.

After that I entered the world of Gorogoa which was like stepping into a colouring book which coloured itself… that world was one where my partner belonged, his turn lasted long, his enjoyment was strong as was mine watching him play, I turned down many turns just to watch his world unfold and spread colours beyond the lines.

Gorogoa game artwork

The world beyond our family unit had many different versions of reality, depending on who you met, how you met them, why you met them, what they wanted from the meeting and what they didn’t want from the meeting…

When I visited other worlds beyond those of origin…

Sometimes the one I’d step into was like Tony Hawk’s pro skater series… school felt like that, not just the curriculum but also the social side of it. All these tricks to be learned to score points and level up… were you agile, gifted, fast, cool and skillful enough or were you a loser who couldn’t even stay on the board long enough to roll over a small bump and accidentally do a trick.

Sometimes it was more like Zork – it’s a very old style computer game, all text, and to progress you had to use the right words or you’d get stuck. I got stuck and eventually gave up. There was this mouse hole in the wall, inside you could see something glinting… try as I might I could not figure out what words to use to get my hand in the hole and take the object which was glinting.

Me: Put hand in hole take object.

Zork: There is nothing there.

Me: Look in hole.

Zork: There is something there. It is glinting.

Me: Get glinting something there.

Zork: There is no hole.

Me: Look at wall.

Zork: There is a hole in the wall.

The game was gaslighting me!!! I just realised that… I stuck it out in stuckdom for far longer than I should have, bashing my head against a wall with the game, the same way I did in RL with the narcissists in my life.

Playing video games, exploring those imaginary worlds, doing things in them I can’t and don’t do in RL, has helped me in a myriad of ways. Sometimes it’s not the game itself, but observing myself play it. Realising the areas I get stuck in game are similar to those where I get stuck in RL.

It’s not wasting time which I could be using more productively elsewhere at all. It’s not an addiction, although every now and then one game will affect me in ways I imagine certain drugs do – The Witness was crack cocaine for the mind which loves puzzles.

In astrology the mind is Mercury, and my natal Mercury is in the house of playing games:

“Creative pursuits, hobbies and recreational outlets are the means of becoming more conscious of the self and the environment. … Mental amusements such as chess, scrabble and other games of strategy and wit might be typical 5th house Mercury pursuits.”

Howard Sasportas – The Twelve Houses

In astrology the mind is also represented by the 3rd house, wherein resides my natal Neptune, and where Mercury and Venus are now transiting…

“Neptune is where we are looking to be reconnected with a sense of wholeness and oneness in life. By contrast, the usual 3rd house type mind is one which analyses, compares, discriminates and observes the relationship of one thing to another. While Neptune in the 3rd can (just about) still do this, the mind must also be used for other “higher” purposes – as the vehicle or eye through which the soul looks outward. On a deep level, those with Neptune in the 3rd know that – divorced from love, the mind is like a pair of scissors which cuts life into shreds.”

Howard Sasportas, The Twelve Houses

Haha… my partner just put on a record in his studio – In Dreams by Roy Orbison.

And this is a good place to stop…

This will probably spill over into my next posts as Mercury goes retrograde… it’s a good time to revisit steps taken to get from here to there, like practicing a dance.

6 comments

  1. Hello Ursula🌻

    Reading your description of games surprised me. My daughters didnt have gaming consoles growing up so my knowledge is still back in the Nintendo era. Asteroids, Pac Man, Donkey Kong… VR games and the sophistication of the graphics, just from the pictures you shared is amazing.

    Your Zork story reminds me of the quest type games I would play on our Apple II computer. The games came of floppy disks. I remember getting stuck at one point and being very upset that I couldn’t figure out what to do. My solution was to print the program of the game (which took for-ev-er) and go read through it until I found the solution. I guess I cheated😉

    I had a thought about Mercury and the whole retrograde thing. Mercury is retro on my natal. I wonder if when it goes back to retro if my mental stuff will feel more “normal”? My internal messages aren’t getting relayed.

    I have no errands and hopefully no drama today. The weather is cool. I think I’ll have a nap and see where my dreams take me😉

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    • Hi Angie 😀

      Zork is from the floppy disk days of gaming. It’s one of the earliest games I played, along with Pacman, Pong and Space Invaders, all of which I found intensely stressful so after that I avoided video games. It wasn’t until I moved in with my partner who had a game console and all these amazingly fun games that I got into it again. One of the first games we played together was Duke Nukem which was hilarious!

      The games nowadays are magnificent, graphics, gameplay, and so many choices, different styles and genres. Although we were chatting the other day and waxing a bit nostalgic for games like Jet Set Radio (graffiti on roller skates) which was so different, super fun, and no one has done anything quite like it since then. But there’s so much now, so much wow!

      Re: Mercury retrograde natal… there is a theory about those with natal retrograde planets being more at ease with the retrograde transit, but I can’t recall where I read that. Something to look up and you can share what you find with me 😀

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      • Hello again🐻
        I just read Bee’s comments about Neptune. Wow! Synchronicity… Venus and Mercury moving next to my natal Neptune.

        As for the retro Mercury, people born under retro Mercury DO feel more comfortable during a retro phase. I found a bunch of information. This article is probably the best
        https://astro-awakenings.co.uk/hot-topics/the-truth-about-mercury-retrograde

        I also liked the information on Darkstar about the 3rd dec of Scorpio. I’d link that too but I seem to be having trouble switching between “windows” on my phone.😂
        Electronic glitches are not surprising are they?😉🌠🎃🌻

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        • Ha! Synch! I read the Darkstar Scorpio decan 3 post the night before you mentioned it that’s why the universe told you “No need to share the link to it” by causing “trouble switching between windows” 😀

          What struck me about that decan is that it’s ruled by Moon and Venus, and my natal Neptune in Scorpio decan 3 is aspected by Moon (in 12th house, home of Nep and Pisces) and Venus (in Pisces) – it’s a T-square aspect which is challenging. Whole lot of Neptune-Pisces challenging, with the added extra challenge of the opposite side of the Pisces/Virgo axis being involved – Moon is in Virgo and Venus is in 6th house of Virgo. However, and this is something which makes astrology and exploring your natal chart so cool – any challenge in your natal chart has a solution to the challenge in it too. In my chart, for that particular challenge, the solution is in Gemini MC = write it out! 😀

          When I’m confused, I write and it helps to clear the confusion for me… although what I write may confuse those who read it 😉 unless they share a similar confusion and it clears things up for them too.

          That link you shared for Mercury retrograde is excellent, very cool find!!! It says something similar to what I recall when I read up on retrograde natal and transit.

          I only have one natal planet which is retro (unless I look at my progressed chart, but it’s best to get the hang of the natal chart first before exploring progressed – or at least that approach is one which is best for me). It’s Pluto in the 1st house and it’s very fortunate that it’s retrograde, that the energy is turned inwards. I used to prefer it when transiting Pluto was retrograde as I was more in tune with the feel and effect of it, but these days I feel in tune with it when it’s direct too, but it is transiting Capricorn now so that may be because I’m in tune with Capricorn due to my Sun being there.

          Some natal placements take time to integrate and adjust to – particularly the outer planets which are BIG energy, I see the outer planets’ energy as an ocean pouring into the tiny glass that a human is.

          The transits to those natal placements give an opportunity to understand the natal placement in different ways, thus aiding integration. But it doesn’t always feel like an opportunity or that it’s aiding… it can feel the exact opposite 😉

          Electronic glitches and miscommunication happen all year round, but during Mercury retrograde we have “someone” to blame for it and may relax about it because it’s Mercury retrograde 😀 What is interesting though is the turning inwards of a retrograde… see if you can spot the effect of Mercury retrograde in the posts of the bloggers you follow, and in yourself when you write a post at this time.

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  2. There seems to be many moments in life where parts of past and future meld together and we make some kind of connection, understanding…
    ..and there are poignant episodes where absolutely everything we’ve ever known , from the mundane level to the most obscure, elevated concept, everything ever experienced, all slips into a configuration from a puzzle to a completed picture, where we get to see ALL the connections of cause and effect in our personal lives. I call this ‘zero point’ of consciousness. A completion. The weaving has been completed. You’re Reborn. Clock gets re-set to start a new ‘canvas’. Neptune is responsible for this perceptive episode, as only Neptune can take us outside of ourselves to be able to see IN. While ‘in’ our lives, we can’t see the forest for the trees, as they say.
    Neptune allows us to detach completely and allow us to experience beyond ourselves. Must remember however, to leave a rough trail of breadcrumbs so we know some route back and don’t spin-out too far into the aether of vast one consciousness!
    Neptune enables us to grasp past present and future as an aggregate of fluid moments…all bound to one another…all subject to change, not fixed. Neptune blurs the restrictions of fear-based rational mind. This either destroys us or makes us ‘immortal’. Buddhist rebirth is akin to this process.
    Great post Ursula, Neptune is powerful.

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    • Thank you very much, Bee 😀

      I love your description of your ‘zero point’ of consciousness.

      It reminds me of a dream I had about climbing a mountain and taking a break to sit on a mid-mountain plateau and looking out at the view of where I had been. It was a breathtaking panorama of the valley below, and I realised that I was looking at my life until this moment. Then after a while, I turned and looked up towards where I still had to go, and began climbing again.

      Your beautiful and insightful words connect synchronistically with a TV series I’ve just started watching – Undone. Lovely, thank you ❤

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