This year I’ve had some very fascinating conversations with close friends about how they see themselves. Within these raw conversations about our bodies, relationships, sexuality and finding contentment with our appearances it solidly became a truth to me that we all suffer from some sort of body dysmorphic condition.
Dysmorphia is defined as a ‘physical irregularity’ on the body.
Body dysmorphic disorder is a term that is used for someone that obsesses over perceived flaws in themselves/ personal appearance. The fixation with their flaws interferes with their life and affects their social behaviors. This ‘disorder’ is to be diagnosed by a health professional.
In astrology, there are planetary configurations that relate to particular conditions of the body/mind that are not illnesses at all. For example, the need for constant stimulation and the desire to multitask in short spurts is classic to the sign Gemini, though it can and is often times mistaken and diagnosed as ADD. (I’m not discrediting the medical system, but there are so many ways to observe and address Attention Deficit Disorder that do not involve Ritalin).
When I travelled to the west coast this year, I was excited to catch up with close friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Within the span of a week I visited 3 of my friends and had some deep exchanges regarding relationships and body image. A celebrity hairstylist, a very beautiful massage therapist and a very cool guy that managed rock bands in the 80s. None of my friends had similar stories or backgrounds besides being queer, yet I was surprised at the discomfort we all expressed regarding our body image.
Cue the song Relfection from Mulan
It’s really hard to believe that when you look in the mirror you are really seeing you. It’s hard to believe that you are really able to look at yourself with naked eyes. To perceive yourself without the burdens of society and the conditionings of a lifetime.
When we look at ourselves, before we even open our eyes to the mirror, we already have a notion of what beauty is, and that is defined by a shit ton of expectations, norms, desires and experiences/traumas have ‘validated’/proven who we are and what we look like. Try to see yourself without these filters. It’s impossible.
Now imagine that you are going to look at another person. Can you see them clearly? Without your own stereotypes of what they should be looking like, how you understand their identity based on their image and whatever projection that you want to overlay onto them. It’s doubtful that you would be able to see clearly without staining them with your personal mess and all the many layers of judgments, normalcies, falsehoods and truths that you have experienced when you looked at this ‘type’ of person in front of you.
When two people speak to one another, the exchange of words must go through thousands of filters on both ends to reach the other person. Ever had a friend who could never accept a compliment?
Many of the complaints that I shared with these 3 men that week were around weight and size. What shocked me was how much no one was able to see themselves. When the topic came to fitness and health, I could sense delusion as they judged their bodies. I was getting the impression that there was a feeling of idealism that stood behind how they saw themselves.
I shared how I have always had people telling me that I was frail and skinny. How it has manifested for me is that when I go shopping, I grab a bunch of items to try on and half of the time the items will be 1-2 sizes too small. I have been doing this for years. And even within this past month I have gone shopping and some of the clothes that I tried on were 3 sizes too small and wouldn’t even go beyond my elbows. I mean you can say that I am just open minded and willing to try things on, which I am. But the point that I am making is that my perception of my own body does not match my physical body and it is validated in this experience choosing clothes that are obviously too damn small. This is not a boohoo rant about my shallow shopping woes.
I’m convinced we all have a form of Body dysmorphic perception.
Neptune is the planet that rules over delusion. Where Neptune is involved we do not see clearly. The thing that me and my three friends have in common is a strong Neptune in our birth charts. Bingo.
There are many parts of the birth chart that express the physical body as well as how we relate to our physical body. If Neptune is in aspect to any of these parts of your chart it can cause a sense of non-clarity with personal image.
-ascendant / ruler of the asc / 1st house
The beauty of Neptune is that is spiritualizes experience. Through the beauty of grandeur, it enhances artistic and creative vision. Though these idealisms when placed upon our limited physical bodies and it may cause a sense of delusion. Neptune evokes a deep sensitivity and openness. This type of empathic energy leaves the Neptune type person open to the projections of others. The function of Neptune is to bring us to a place of wonder and awe, just as spiritual experience can take us to a place of higher awareness. In order to harmonize Neptune when in relation to the physical body means operating from a mindset of grounding and self-love is important.
The physical body is finite and tied to the earth while Neptune’s tendency is to draw us closer to spirit.
Finding the ways to commit to one’s own physical body while honoring the desire to dream outside of oneself as well is important for this type of person. Bridging the mundane with the unattainable – A dance of being human and holding the universal heart at once.
Neptune is somewhere in every birth chart. No one is exempt to confusion as Neptune will occupy one house in every birth chart.
The Greatest Mystery
This idea of seeing clearly easily extends to all forms of perception, not just the body. Neptune in some alchemical traditions is referred to as “the most hidden of all hidden things”. I believe that this refers to the greatest mystery, which is life itself. Some things we are here to understand and much will remain a mystery. Neptune’s role in your birth chart says much about this.