Have you ever tried to escape from your problems? Are you guilty of a habit that temporarily numbs your pain but doesn't support you actually working through it? To some extent, we've all been there.
On the more subtle end of the spectrum, you might be someone who procrastinates until the very last minute. You convince yourself that if you avoid your looming deadline long enough, the assignment for work or school magically won't be due. Until it is. Then, of course, you scramble to get it done.
Maybe you're someone who has a tendency to turn a blind eye to your problems. Let's say you find yourself in a mountain of credit card debt. Or perhaps your house is a mess and you'd rather lie in bed sleeping late on your day off than scrub your floors and do the laundry. Intellectually, you know that ignoring whatever aggravating situation is in your face won't make it disappear. But you might still try to turn a blind eye to it for as long as possible because you convince yourself it's easier to ignore it than to tackle it.
Where do unhealthy escape patterns come from?
On the more worrisome end of the spectrum, there's the escape artist who uses alcohol, drugs or another vice to distract you from unbearable human emotions. Escaping to a movie or a concert is one thing, but drowning your sorrows at the local bar every evening has much more dire consequences. Escaping to the fantasy world of your dreams is one thing, but teetering on the brink of insanity or checking out of this world through suffering of a mental illness is another thing entirely.
Unhealthy escape patterns are the poisonous fumes of a short-circuited Neptune. I see it every single day as an astrologer, and also as a human being. Neptune, the planet that dissolves boundaries and allows us to connect to that divine spark, is also the planet that blurs our vision as we travel through life's more slippery roads. If you have Neptune making a tense aspect to a planet in your birth chart it can spiritualize you, but it can also morph you into a wobbly version of yourself by tricking you into thinking it's OK to erode the essential structures of this physical world your soul is forced to live in.
Neptune can delight you, but he can also fool you
Neptune can teach us that anything is possible through unshakeable faith and unconditional love, but he can also fool us into believing the tales of trickery and deceit we tell ourselves each day in order to function without facing a cold, hard reality that might be too painful to endure. Neptune is magic and fairy tales, but also illusion and confusion -- all in the same package. It always depends on how we choose to use this energy in our charts and lives.
If you're having a difficult Neptune transit -- especially to your Sun, Moon, or an angle on your chart -- you might feel as if your entire world is out of control. Like you're drowning or slowly sinking in quicksand. The temptation, when life is too emotionally intense, is to check out. But living your life in a drunken stupor will never erase your problems.
No, Robert Frost had it right when he said "The best way out is always through."
Facing things head-on
Hard times happen to all of us. There are days we all wake up thinking: "Hmmm ... how much more can life possibly suck today?" These are the times in our life when it's most tempting to find an escape route, and Neptune LOVES giving us options to escape. Please remember, however, that dodging reality is never a workable solution. It's more bearable to take those difficult times in our lives and remember that they are part of a cycle -- a cycle that has a beginning, middle, and end. That's how Astrology works. It's how life works.
The truth is, nothing very good or very bad lasts for very long. But trying to act like your problems are invisible will only make the bad cycles feel worse. The only real way to erase them, is to face them.