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