This piece by former API tutor Wendy Oak first appeared in an early issue of Conjunction.
When my Age Point crossed over Neptune shortly before my MC, I experienced a sublime dissolution of all that I thought I was, and became, briefly, part of a transpersonal understanding. It happened out of the blue when I left England on a bleak cold November afternoon and arrived in the brilliant vibrant heat of India the following day. Here I travelled on bouncy Cheran buses, piled high with bananas and sacks of rice on the giant roofracks, across the Niligris mountains to the rainforests of Kerala, in that coastal strip known as “the land of green magic”.
Alighting in the middle of nowhere, alone, with my rucksack and handwritten Livingstone map, I passed rice fields of iridescent green, crossed a river where women laid out their colourful cloth to dry on the smooth flat stones and as the terrain became wilder, the known world became fainter and the rainforest called me; the outline of long craggy mountains rose steeply in the vivid blue of the sky and the vastness of green stretched out under the heat of the Indian sun.
Winding my way along narrow tracks with huge elephant footprints, I came to the Botanical Sanctuary, hidden away on the fringe of virgin rainforest – and in this Neptunian of settings I stayed, tending the rare and exotic orchids and ferns; plant collecting in the depths of the forest. The tracks led amongst dense foliage, clicking with cicadas, bright with colourful birds and big butterflies. The vast expanse of rainforest, the delicate balance of flora and fauna, the dissolution of all that made up my “normal life” flooded my consciousness. In this state of joyous being I dissolved into a richness and vibrancy which was vast, everlasting and beautiful. I became tiny, looking up into the high trees through a canopy of leaves, and in the dappled sunlit corners were clusters of frilly white mushrooms – not to be eaten.
Reaching the top of a rainforest mountain we sat on the edge of infinity. The view was breathtaking. A huge basin of rainforest lay below us, and stretched out to hazy purple mountains beyond. The wind blew strongly. I felt humbled and filled with awe. We ate our rice meal wrapped in banana leaves, fastened with a twig, in silence. My Libran Moon felt deeply in harmony with this pulse and my 9th House Venus loved it all. My friend spoke: “In 10 years this may all be gone.” I felt a hit in my solar plexus and a chill in my heart – almost despair. If only I could bring people here just for a few hours to soak up the spirit of the rainforest – so they would understand.
How could we be so greedy and unaware as to cut down these trees, destroy the natural rhythm of life, which gives nourishment and life sustaining energy to our planet? I felt tears behind my eyes and a lump in my throat. I wanted to gather the whole rain forest into my heart and reassure it…
Neptune’s gift to me was a gift to us all, to guard, love and cherish the forests, rivers and seashores and the seasons of our present and future lives. We can find Neptune’s gift in our own gardens, or walking in nature. We can send out our love and energy to reassure the earth that we really do care and accept its life giving energies with love, gratitude and respect.
Featured image of rainforest courtesy of User:Diliff and Wikimedia Commons