The Stars Speaking In Silence

Mark Helprin, who wrote Winter’s Tale, has Neptune in the 12th House square his Cancerian Sun. When you’ve got Neptune in this House, you’re channeling something other-worldly, whether you want to be or not.

You’re a Neptunian and, if you channel the higher vibe of the Shamanic Planet, you’re often a creative genius. Helprin also has Mercury conjunct Midheaven – an aspect connected with enduring words or literary legacy. But read this:

Every city has its gates, which need not be of stone. Nor need soldiers be upon them or watchers before them. At first, when cities were jewels in a dark and mysterious world, they tended to be round and they had protective walls.

To enter, one had to pass through gates, the reward for which was shelter from the overwhelming forests and seas, the merciless and taxing expanse of greens, whites and blues — wild and free — that stopped at the city walls.

In time, the ramparts became higher and the gates more massive, until they simply disappeared and were replaced by barriers, subtler than stone, that girded every city like a crown and held in its spirit. Some claim that the barriers do not exist, and disparage them.

Although they themselves can penetrate the new walls with no effort, their spirits (which, also, they claim do not exist) cannot, and are left like orphans around the periphery.

To enter a city intact it is necessary to pass through one of the new gates. They are far more difficult to find than their solid predecessors, for they are tests, mechanisms, divides, and implementations of justice.

There once was a map, now long gone, one of the ancient charts upon which colorful animals sleep or rage. Those who saw it said that in its illuminations were figures and symbols of the gates.

The east gate was that of acceptance of responsibility, the south gate that of the desire to explore, the west gate that of devotion to beauty, and the north gate that of selfless love.

But they were not believed. It was said that a city with entryways like these could not exist, because it would be too wonderful.

Those who decide such things decided that whoever had seen the map had only imagined it, and the entire matter was forgotten, treated as if it were a dream and ignored. This, of course, freed it to live forever.

It’s SO Neptunian, right? He tells truths about our contemporary life even as he eloquently evokes phantoms. I love the allusion to the zodiac and that it links to gates. I have dreams like this but could never put it in such a fabulous literary context.

You can tell from his depiction of the fantasy metropolis that he’s an advocate of dreams. If you are a Neptunian, you have to have a coherent dream recall and analysis practice. Otherwise, you can go looking for magic in all the wrong places.

Image: Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin

41 thoughts on “The Stars Speaking In Silence”

  1. Mark Helprin is one of my favorite authors, along with Wallace Stegner and Edward Abbey. “Winter’s Tale” is my favorite book. It is all the best of magic, fantasy, history, love story, horse story, ethos and pathos.
    For another great read by Mark Helprin, start with “A Soldier of the Great War”, it is lovely.

  2. Have never read but the quotes remind me of another Neptunean and dreamlike book “Invisible Cities” Italo Calvino. Will be chasing this book though. Not sure how a film could possibly translate the dreamlike visuals created by reading the words alone.

  3. I read this book about 15 years ago…a tattered, torn copy an ex gave me & said I could keep…& that I have. I have a bookshelf loaded with esoterica & maybe 5 novels, this being one of them. Bless….oh! And I dreamed I was riding, very very caringly, a beautiful gentle tan coloured horse bareback last night…magic magic magic

  4. Thank you so much for posting this Mystic! Totally Neptune is right. Just before my dear Piscean father past away he had a terrible time sleeping. Between waking and sleeping he would fall into a fitful and agitated state, so to alleviate this, I would read to him as he dozed and it would give his mind something to focus on rather than spiral into darkness. A Winter’s Tale was one of his favorites and so THIS is the book I would read to him night after night until he passed. Very poignant, the story and the circumstances I read it in. A Neptunian theme, read in a Neptunian situation, to a dreamy man who’s ruler is Neptune.

    1. I know this was written ten years ago and much has changed. It’s nice that we can comment on history (I hope). But it is so touching. What a sweet and kind thing to do. X

  5. So, I hope this pre-mercury direct energy is why I am steaming about my performance review. I was flying high during the time my boss wasn’t around. I could see my true talent.. then I get my performance review and she couldn’t see anything. Lied about deadlines and had no concrete details to say I meet expectations. Mercury is phasing through my 1st house in Scorpio. Based on Mystic’s Daily scopes via email I will remaing quiet and approach a discussion on her performance and lack of to make sure she understands where her employee is coming from. She is not a communicator and I am so let the discussion begin.

    Truth or Dare: I don’t think I like the environment at this company. Very lax with no sense of urgency.. well at least from my boss. I thought maybe the team, while she was gone, thought I was doing well.. but based on my review.. not so.

    (sigh)… God will lead the way.

    My fire is lit with acting and my running.. boy do I want to be out there expressing myself with acting and working out… bring it!!


  6. Found my copy on the Library’s ‘make us an offer’ table, so 2 dollars i gave.
    What value for 2 bucks!
    Do believe a few tears were shed whilst reading, WT as it IS a remarkable love story.
    Also found a copy of ‘Half Asleep in Frog Pyjamas’ by Tom Robbins who’s books always make me smile.
    Last night watched Naked Lunch movie (William Burroughs) with Judy Davis & Peter Weller. Bizarre, surreal & very funny take on addiction & paranoia.
    Neptune escapism in the form of books & movies = legal!

    1. Will put ‘Naked Lunch’ on my movies to see list. Thanks Pegs. I love Neptune escapism, have escaped to books and imagination since I learned to read aged about 5-6. Loved Narnia, and Lord of the Rings when younger. Can’t wait to read this book!

  7. hey if i get enough discussion going on here, as that’s how i gauge if people are finding stuff interesting, you know, will totally do more book posts!

  8. It is so resonate to me and calls like another past life memory full of visuals and emotions! Very deep! So drawn to it! This Cancer is deeply feeling the Neptune in it!

  9. Non-posting subscriber

    I normally leave posting to all the other wonderful people on this site, but I can’t this time.

    This is my favourite book of all time. I read it for the first time in about year 8 and I couldn’t even guess how many times I have read it since. It was the book I wanted to live in. Nowadays I love to just dip into it every now and again and read a scene.

    If I found a copy in a second-hand bookshop I would always buy it so I could ‘look after it’. Luckily it wasn’t very common. Eventually I kept one and re-donated the rest, but I still love this book. I have everything he’s written but nothing touches this.

    I knew they were making a film and I will definitely see it, but it could never be half as beautiful as the book (Russell Crowe as Pearly? Don’t see it myself).

    I’m glad you love it too Mystic, no wonder I love reading you.

    1. WOW love your dedication and thank you!

      Yes when i read it, i felt understood, reading it was like a spell.

      And usually i like the more Uranian authors like Ballard, Pychon & Philip K Dick but this stayed with me.

  10. I would see this book for years, wanting to buy it, wanting to read it. Drawn. I never did, which is odd cause it is exactly the kind of book I read.
    I haven’t seen it in years though.

    A message from Mercury while retrograde? My mom is having a book fair in a couple of weeks. I will add this to the want list.

  11. Winter’s Tale would be one of most favourite books as well. Made me want to go to New York. It was so visual.Descriptions made it like you were THERE.
    So loved the horse of course. Winter’s Tale a magical tale.
    Good choice of Colin Farrell & Russell Crow and the female lead looks suitably ethereal.
    I read a novel a week -fortnight and hardly remember them but WT is remembered in detail.

  12. One of the BEST books I have ever read. And that was about 20 yrs ago!
    I still remember Pearly Soams and his love for color. Funny, I recommended this book to two women Caps – both of them hated it to the point that neither finished it! Can’t wait for the movie!

  13. I have this book! I’ve read halfway through it and you’re right, it’s magical, lyrical, strange. I have neptune conjunct moon and eat this stuff up. I’m not sure why I didn’t finish – I think life got in the way. It’s time to pick it up again.

    I probably won’t see the movie. It will inevitably disappoint me as most movies based on books do.

    Huge book nerd here, keep the book posts coming 🙂

    1. Hold placed at the library immediately. prices too high for the good copies! After reading, I may want to purchase several copies at my favorite indie bookstore to give to total strangers at street corners, or gift to friends/fam!

      Is there a beautiful anniversary edition in print?

      There’s an early 2013 gift set of de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince, including audiobook. Sounds like Winter’s Tale could be a candidate for something like this.

      1. Having just moved I realise that I keep books like lovers. Once I have run my eyes over every inch and allowed them to seep into my soul and open my eyes then I cannot part with them. I have just unpacked more than a dozen boxes of books all of which I love and they are now standing spines to me. Frequently I run my hands over them as if to say, I may not be with you now but I hold you dear.
        Heavens this post was basically meant to say that I can’t do the library thing. It’s a bit like a whore house for me!!!

      2. Really? I love libraries!! It’s the community-minded gem rising I am sure.. Books get to be read and experienced by anyone who visits.. We wander through the 700s. And stumble on a new author..not literally – well maybe.. 🙂

      3. Love, love, love words, books and libraries.

        So powerful and so beautiful…

        I want to read this book!!! <3

      4. Now don’t get me wrong. I do love a library in the sense of standing with the work of thousands of souls. But if I take a book and spend the time to do more than grab a passage or a chunk of info, then it has to be mine. For keeps. I still have the text book I used for my A Level Biology not to mention my O level English Lit texts. I put it down to my build up in Cancer. Can’t let a bloody thing go.

      5. I love picturing your personal library, EMG!

        Sure, both ways are great. My father used to say, “now, don’t forget your local lending library.” He was thrifty, and I bounce back and forth between lib’s and purchasing.

        I have a friend who rarely uses libraries because, as she says, “I’d rather pay up front.” She has a problem with returning things on time and pays endless fines 🙂

        Owning, and yes fondling, is so great! Plus you can write in the margins if you can stand to do this. And if new, be the first to gently crack the spine.

        Indie bookstores and boutique publishers with their amazing papers, bindings and end pages are still my heroes.

        Enjoy the journey! And your new home, EMG!

      6. My books include some way out medical texts through to cardboard books I read to my daughter. You can spend a week just flicking through the titles. I’m loving my journey and my new home is just my best to date. And I’ve had 20! Hoping to stop a while. Thanks

  14. Never read it but just now reading the except I made these parallels:

    ‘The east gate was that of acceptance of responsibility,’


    ‘the south gate that of the desire to explore,’


    ‘the west gate that of devotion to beauty,’


    ‘and the north gate that of selfless love.’


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