In going direct on November 7 at 6:05 in the morning (+00/UT), planet Neptune will, of course, begin moving to catch up with where it was when it went retrograde late last May. But it will also be doing something else of note. This is Neptune on “final approach” (as fliers say) to its home sign of Pisces. And that’s a big deal.
The last time Neptune spun its big blue self into Pisces, the year here on Earth was 1848. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ending the Mexican-American War, Louis Philippe was abdicating himself right out of a royal French job, the Swiss were putting finishing touches on their constitution (no doubt over a cup of hot chocolate), French painter Paul Gauguin was getting himself born, and both Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were just then in diapers, Edison no doubt feeling in the dark and Bell already wanting to call his congressman. But alas—as yet there were no phones (hence his need to invent one).
During the 14 years (a fortnight of years, we might say) that Neptune then went on to spend in its home sign of Pisces, wars got fought (the Crimean and American Civil, among others) the speed of light got measured, Moby Dick and The Scarlet Letter got written, Steinway began making pianos, rayon went into production (much to the delight of draping designers the world over), Sigmund Freud emerged from his mother’s womb (an event he would contemplate throughout life) and Pasteur proved that fermentation is produced by living organisms.
Charles Darwin was going about publishing On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection as Dickens was penning A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. And just as Neptune was about to resign itself into Aries, Victor Hugo released Les Miserables, R.J. Gatling perfected the gun which would forever bear his name, Jean Henri Dunant came up with the idea for the international relief organization which would become the Red Cross, and much to my future delight, a first skeleton of Archaeopteryx—the missing link between reptile and bird—was discovered at Solnhofen, Germany, this fact surely outing me as a fan of dinosaurs in general….though they would have made lousy house pets, most of them.
Over a hundred years later in a fit of annoyed wondering (read: complaining) about how people haven’t thought through this love of dinosaurs thing, my father (who hadn’t an ounce of sympathy for how scared I had gotten while we had watched a screening of Jurassic Park) said the best thing about having a Tyrannosaurus Rex as a pet would have been that it was one critter which could go out into the neighborhood to find its own dinner.
This I mention because such flights of fantasy are entirely Neptunian. As were all the events which transpired while Neptune was in Pisces. Pisces is about how we feel about our feelings. Steven Spielberg not doubt wanted to evoke a few shrieks and cringes with Jurassic Park—but like as not, he also wanted us to think about possibilities. Along with “I hope,” “what if..?” is one of the big Piscean catch-phrases around. It’s also ardently Neptune, whether we’re longing for romance, yearning for salvation, envisioning some future or imagining some long ago.
Neptune is all humans hold in common, will ever hold in common, our evocative common root factors. It symbolizes our spirit of adventure, the perils which go with that and the foibles of human nature as portrayed on stage, screen, literature, song and the reality of life. Neptune represents the dissolution of boundaries between the known and unknown, whether that leads us to illusions or to thinking outside the box as Darwin, Gatling and Pasteur did. In denying us the shell-like armor of ego it allows us to connect with others and thus and thus write a work like A Tale of Two Cities or think in terms of a world where there would actually be an international relief organization ready to respond to anyone’s disasters.
And yet, in Neptune being the symbolic outcome ruler of Pisces, it’s most about the beauty of emotional flowering or painful angst of despair which comes out of our having comprehended the source of our own feelings, for Pisces is primarily a land of Jupiterian proportion. How well we know ourselves and our ability to accept realities is what sets us up for Neptunian highs and lows.
All this we will experience maximally once Neptune is in Pisces. But first Neptune has to get to Pisces. And yet…these months ahead say a lot and inform us greatly, since what Neptune does now sets the stage from which big brush stroke emotional dynamics will yet evolve over a next decade.
This starts with Neptune going direct at 25 Aquarius on November 7 (UT). There, conjunct the brilliance of a Quasar, Neptune’s position speaks to reactions evoked and provoked as we’re all in flux, floating back and forth about the possibilities of any and every given thing. It’s a moment of societal interest probably born of insecurities we may not want (or be able) to own up to.
The Sabian symbol for this degree is “A garage man testing a car’s battery with a hydrometer.” We are given many a polarity…that between water and acid (the battery) and the relative difference between power and weakness—the strength of power can also be corrosive or even shocking…and yet weakness can be an inability to get anything moving. Too much water (emotion) obviously “waters down” potential, and yet too little emotion creates a dangerously caustic environment. The “quasar effect” here can highlight what can be achieved, what can be scattered by Neptune’s famously infamous fog effect into either inspiration or illusion…or maybe for you, Neptune is just some big giant black “thing” which is blotting out the light.
And to do all this, there is skill involved (the garage man doing the test). Since he is employing his knowledge to do what he is doing, so are we. Are we hiding? Emerging from hiding? Being real? Wearing a mask? Evading some truth? Working the system? Deluding ourselves with ideas of brilliance, or our brilliant ideas?
That part is up to you. Certainly having any kind of fluid as part of this station’s degree image tells us that there is/will be an element of emotionality which will now be exacerbated, exposed…or perhaps purposefully covered up. Sheer frustration can lead to breakdowns and with Aquarius being an airy sign of thoughts, ideas and concepts all things systemic, interpersonal and mental are implied.
With Neptune’s station occurring early on November 7 (UT), station effects begin on November 5 and run through the 9, and woe to those who ignore events which happen now—even though ignoring is a Neptunian specialty. Sometimes it’s just leniency, comprehending that people are people and no one’s perfect (Neptunian mercy and understanding). Then again, sometimes it’s a total Neptunian denial trip—not wanting to see some inconvenient truth you might actually have to acknowledge and deal with.
Because Neptune is going direct while in conjunction with Chiron, there’s also a whole aura of not wanting to deal with things not because we’re nasty, irresponsible or foolish…but simply because we don’t know how to fix the problem or deal with the situation. Of course that’s really just playing weak battery water (to use the Sabian image), and the reality of the problem is that you can be the dead battery or get recharged and get on with your life. Ultimately no one is going to fix us or do what is really ours to do. We either get charged up and get on the road to what we want and need in life or we volunteer to further dissolution of our power and potential while gathering dust in the human junkyard of our own self-disrespect.
Once Neptune is in direct motion, it arrives at 26 Aquarius on November 24, perfecting (strengthening) that Chiron need to make things happen, even though we don’t really know how to get all done. This is necessity as the mother of invention. Despite much scattering and chaos, there is more to be gained here than just putting food on the table. No, the real point of this moment…and in the days and weeks to come (seeing how Neptune will be in 26 Aquarius throughout the holidays and into the first of the new year) is to recognize that merely by doing we learn to do.
Those who get this lesson now will really have been given a great holiday present—and it won’t cost a thing (monetarily, that is) and you can gift it to yourself without guilt. As a matter of fact, give yourself this realization and a lot of overall guilt will be dispelled—and you’ll incur less going forward. All that an no wrapping required? How can you resist? (No, don’t answer that!)
Moving into 27 Aquarius come January 10, Neptune highlights reality while tempting us to remove ourselves from that reality—a tricky combination all about our willingness to diagnose the difference between risking the status quo against investing in the future. With Neptune (and Chiron) now positioned at the midpoint between Mars in Capricorn (the drive to get things done) and Uranus in Pisces (lack of certainty producing insecurity) the real question is how we grapple with ego—the “my” position in all things.
During the four weeks or so that Neptune will be in this degree, the offset between knowing the reality and being able to put aside uncertainty and the “ego effect” of convictions so that positive results can be achieved tests all and sundry, creating a testy atmosphere. Expect much fussing, even name-calling. Those who work to reconsider positions in terms of reality gain ground; those who choose to stand on idyllic platforms find their ground approved of, but not viably supported (or supportive). And this is apt, since ideals aren’t real. Theories must in the end hold real water or be relegated to “longings.” Here Neptune dispels some hopes, and forces others to abandon manipulations, based on preference for workable, functional efforts—some of which will (perhaps much to everyone’s surprise!) turn out to be actual solutions.
Arriving at 28 Aquarius on February 7 in the company of asteroids Circe and Amphitrite, we get another clear picture of Neptune as the symbol of enchantment (Circe) and the bliss which comes of cooperation. The question here being whether the power of sorcery (the ability to lead and direct what happens) is good or bad and whether the cooperation is about teamwork or surrender, we are all likely to experience temptations and all likely to know what we shouldn’t simply succumb to.
Trouble is, this is Neptune we’re talking about. And where Neptune’s concerned, there is this rather strong tendency not to risk, and to go for what makes you happy in the moment despite the fact there will be personal hell to pay not far down the line. You know—when Neptune hits Pisces.
Neptune’s last degree stop in Aquarius this time around begins on March 6—pretty much just as the Nodes have shifted from Capricorn/Cancer into Sagittarius/Gemini, an event which marks the beginning of roughly two-and-a-half years of very big discussions which really should be about workable goals and functionality instead of options, ideas and possible new avenues of exploration. Still, out of such periods do come great advances, and with Neptune entering 29 degrees conjunct Sappho. While there’s a poetic quality to the moment which could be good or bad, Sappho’s well known aura of universality suggests the eliminating of certain personal or group interests, which bodes well. Or well enough!
Twenty-nine Aquarius has a reputation for huge challenges which provide the grist upon which the mentality sharpens its teeth (try that image on for size!). The fact that Neptune enters 29 Aquarius with Uranus at 29 Pisces (conjunct social sour grape juice producer Scheat) warns of turbulent waters.
And from this may come the most important Neptune lesson of all about how humans learn more and learn better through trials and pain than they ever do during good times. In the wonderful children’s book The Thirteen Clocks, author James Thurber puts it this way: “The jewels of sorrow will last beyond all measure.” The jewels of laughter in this tale…? Well, they last but a fortnight. The good and bad of that? Well, that’s the very essence of Neptune, which upon its entrance into Pisces come early April will shift our emotional hopes and anxieties away from their current focus on the greater Aquarian society and onto the very nature of humanity itself…which is maybe where it belongs.