After sending out today's NorthPoint Journal, I reflected that I should have included something about Neptune and Chiron as I was discussing the intensity we're now experiencing. It may be true that we can point to Venus retrograde and Saturn in Libra as being the primary contributors to current pressure on relationships -- but woven into that energy is also the ongoing Neptune-Chiron alignment, which is now strong again, with the two planets separated by just 11 minutes (about one-sixth of a degree).
This alignment between Neptune and Chiron has been with us in varying intensity since April-May 2009. It has the effect of both bringing up our deepest wounds (Chiron) and asking/helping us to release (Neptune) the pain associated with those wounds -- in effect, rewiring our emotional circuits so that we are no longer at the mercy of the fears of being hurt again.
Because the two are in Aquarius, the primary wound they're working to release is the belief in separation -- the pain of being apart from those we love, either through someone making their transition to nonphysical, or through apparent rejection or abandonment.
In addition, I'm finding that our natal Chiron issues are also being triggered in major ways. This is one of the interesting things about transits -- no matter where in our natal charts a planet happens to be by transit, it carries for each individual some of the themes related to its sign, house, and aspects at the time of our birth. For instance, for someone with Chiron in the fourth house in their birth chart, transits from Chiron will usually contain themes of vulnerability and a strong need for emotional security.
This means that as Neptune and Chiron finish their tandem journey, saying farewell to each other in early 2011, we are in the final stages of some very important emotional/ spiritual work. No wonder everything seems to plumb the depths these days.