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      Transmutation: the Astrological Concept of Balance and Transmutation  

Ingrid Naiman

The reason for writing this article is to explain the need for integrating and expressing the energies impinging on us so that they do not go south on us.  I would like to take a few examples, in the hope that you can make psychological and medical sense of them and therefore see the wisdom underlying the thesis I am propounding.










In historic medical astrology texts in both the East and West, there are strategies discussed for mitigating the effects of "malefic" influences.  The "influences" can be in the natal chart or transits—or, of course, any other tool used for analysis or prognostication, such as progressions, harmonic charts, or Arabic parts.  I prefer to keep things somewhat simple and to focus on the overview rather than a cobweb of minutia, but there are always those who disagree with whatever one says or writes so I take the liberty of writing from my experience rather than addressing textbooks theories or detractors.

If one were under a malefic Mars influence, traditionally there would be several schemes for placating Mars.  One could try to neutralize Mars by increasing the effect of Venus.  One could also perform pujas or offer prayers to Mars begging Him not to rough you up too much.  To give these somewhat archaic and quaint notions some modern credence, it would be fair to say that if Mars is aggressive, Venus would be peacemaking; if Mars is acidic, Venus would be deacidifying; if Mars causes too much insulin to pour into the bloodstream, Venus would flood that same bloodstream with sugar to reduce the consequences of overrapid utilization of resources by a hypercatabolic Mars.

These methods are pacifying and ultimately balancing, but the invisible agenda here is actually to reduce the fire and fury by disabling Mars through tactful and usually well rehearsed actions that lower risk factors at the expense of whatever gave Mars cause to arouse in the first place. In short, while these methods might work on a symptomatic basis, they do not fulfill the requirement Mars has to express himself.

I think I can make this much clearer.  If one were losing weight very fast because of the vigorous exercise and activity prompted by fleeting enthusiasm for overcoming inertia and laziness, the weight loss could be offset by indulging in more consumption of rich foods.  The risk is that these might also sedate one to such an extent that the will to flex muscles vanishes with the surge of blood sugar.  The bottom line is that the will of Mars was sabotaged by the seductivity of Venus and thus the urge to exercise dissipates.  The result is physiological calm and perhaps also less extremism, but if Mars really wanted to be seen and heard for a while—and dare I say for a reason—this is less likely to happen once desert is served.

In a certain way, this is what happens when an alcoholic goes through a bout of loss of inhibitions and emboldened behavior, often arrogant and obnoxious or even pugnacious, but then the roar goes silent when the drinker blacks out, only to awaken hours later with no memory of either the absurdity of the exaggerated ego nor the humiliation of the greater tragedy of an ego that fizzled into a void. It's very easy under such circumstances to discredit everything associated with fire and its arousal, but the fact is that while some fire may seem to smolder and then turn into a blaze for no reason at all, most fire is aroused because of the need to defend itself or a principle so fire can also be used to build up the courage and fortitude and initiative and audacity needed to right a wrong or overcome an injustice or invent the future.  Think about it: if we are passive and yielding, the opportunities to explore new horizons or challenge injustice would pass.  So, if there is a value in accepting the challenge to dare and to champion a cause, subduing Mars is an insult both to his valor and idealism.

The difference therefore between balance and fulfillment of the moment is in whether one can utilize the energies that are playing on our vibrations. Obviously, if the energies are tending to go amok on us, there might be understandable arguments for neutralizing them, but they can then go into hiding . . . and I might contend that the snarly dragons have a penchant for heating up the liver and blood, causing a wide range of symptoms, everything from apathy to poor digestion and assimilation of food to floaters.  What these symptoms imply is that the fires that were kindled were snuffed out only to the extent that the smoke was no longer detected, but the fire did not give up either its aspiration or inspiration so when the opportunity arises, we would expect a volcanic eruption, usually not very gracious or well-staged but often quite dramatic.

Here, however, we have an attention getter who is going about matters in a less than acceptable manner so there is a tendency to call in Venus again, invoke her social graces to mask the "bad" behavior of Mars and "restore" equilibrium.  Since, this is non-progressive, fire once more feels defeated and enraged at the efforts to trivialize the issues that fire has not learned to advance in acceptable ways.

The reason for writing this article is to explain the need for integrating and expressing the energies impinging on us so that they do not go south on us.  I would like to take a few examples, in the hope that you can make psychological and medical sense of them and therefore see the wisdom underlying the thesis I am propounding. However, I am going to play a bit of a trick on you and go from Mars to Neptune because I did not think the stage would be set as well if I started with Neptune.  Everything with Mars is much clearer and more decisive so the premise that there is a subjugation of energy or a fulfillment of an influence is easier to articulate with Mars, but I really do want to concentrate now on Neptune.

Neptune Everyone knows that Neptune is associated with both faith and delusion—and that sometimes the boundary between these two extremes is blurry. Those under the influence of Neptune want to believe but in what should they believe, this is the question.

A good argument argument can be made that those with Neptune afflictions are just as sensitive as those with the more harmonious connections of Neptune to other planets, but the temptation to take shortcuts is so much stronger when Neptune itself is fogged.  Substance abuse, yogic and shamanic instant enlightenment techniques, and perhaps even formal psychotherapy with misguided therapists are all possibilities as is infatuation with creative people who are often charming but unable to make commitments to mortal human beings for fear of losing their connections with their muses are also well known responses to transitory Neptune influences.  Occasionally, perfectly grounded people go totally off the deep end, believing in the improbable as well as the absurd and too confused to know the difference.

Spiritual discrimination is usually an asset earned the hard way, often through many lifetimes of sincere spiritual practice.  I guess I find it bewildering that people could take someone like Jim Jones or Jim Bakker seriously, but this is the problem.  Charisma combined with hearing what one wants to hear can deceive and one needs to be careful about where one places one's trust before surrendering body and soul, not to mention time and resources, to unworthy objects of admiration or worship.

It's one thing, I suppose, to believe in the Easter bunny and another to enable a con artist, which, I am afraid includes many folk heroes, everyone from film stars to sports icons to politicians and pundits. We are living in a time of intense propaganda, all geared to make the unacceptable more appealing or even desirable.  How does one cut through the media paint job to discover something of eternal value.  Obviously sincerity is not always enough; and even surrender to guidance can be frought with the hazards of disperception based on countless years of habitual influence by mediocre outside forces.

Neptune, on the highest level, is about the source, divinity, and receptivity to unconditioned knowing, intuition that is not colored by personal experience much less the pedestrian world that bombards our vibrations day in and day out.

However, Neptune is also about veils and boundaries and thin lines between different states of reality and whenever we bring our rational minds into judgment of the transcendental, we risk lowering the interpretation to a level where the significance is diminished.

There is a theory in medical astrology that when an energy is not utilized on the spiritual or mental level, it plays out on the emotional and/or physical plane.  When this happens, Neptune "eras"are usually characterized by vague discontent, inertia, lack of discipline, and often indulgence food, drink, and fantasies, everything from get-rich-quick schemes to romantic and sexual dreams.  It's important to note that these departures from reality are just that: they are not grounded and not based on facts though there is often a tendency to project in such a way that one imagines that what one imagines is the same as what someone else imagines.  This can obviously become very complicated and potentially also embarrassing. However, what is relevant about the fantasies is that they represent a longing for something that is missing. This longing may be quite practical, for instance, in the desire for wealth or fulfilllment, but if the means for achieving the goals are impractical, it is unlikely that the dreams will come true.

On a very subtle level, it can be seen that the longings that are expressed are magnetic thus what happens within the energy field is that the person going through these episodes is drawing more energy his or her way.  This alone can lead to surfeit in the form of water retention, weight gain, or elevated blood sugar, but the mystery behind this is the capacity to anchor a vision. What one visualizes must however be authentic in order for the manifestation of the energy to take a constructive form. Otherwise, one follows this bliss and another and wakes up one day to wonder where one's wits were and what happened to one's time.

Sometimes, I can be "too" Piscean, but I believe strongly that each of us has a memory of our soul as well as our relationship to realms of higher intent and inspiration.  At various times in life, we need our memories jogged so that we recharge our understanding of our reason for being.  In most cases, this refresh is achieved through receptivity, unconditioned receptivity, meaning we are willing to listen and observe without intruding our own notions of what we want to see and hear.  This is difficult and may require the surrender of the part of our ego that likes to be in control.  In such instance, we may see and feel in a way that makes us wonder if we are making up the sensations, but when the preparation is adequate the the willingness is pure, the impressions can be trusted. Many people see visions, others hear voices, some just feel ideas or emotions, usually lofty ones like compassion, love, and gentleness.

Neptune transits can be tricky so if one has a tendency to be deceived, it might be good to bounce one's ideas off someone who is more at home in the realm of Neptune.


Ingrid Naiman
24 July 2007


Fate: Destiny or Karma?
Fate: Destiny or Karma
These tapes address the schism between mind and emotions, masculine and feminine, spirituality and psychology. They weave a story of the structure of the psyche and the origins of karma. More importantly, the reasons for the need for harmony between the personality and spirit are intelligently and compassionately presented.



Psychology and Spirituality || Venus-Mars
Acute vs. Chronic Diseases || Monastic Moon || Fire: The Power to Change
Laboratory vs. Clinical Medicine || Weight || Lunar Herbs
Constitutional Type || Soaring Spirit with Tears
Sleeping Woman || Ego Light and Loving Light
|| Medicine Name


Poulsbo, Washington