Planet Neptune enters Pisces on April 4, 2011 at 1:37 in the afternoon (UT/+0). Famous as a symbol of ideals, faith, illusion/disillusion, and expectation versus disappointment, we could of course sit here and list out all the Neptune words we could think of and in doing so, come up with a scroll a good half a city block long.
But all that can also be summed up quite concisely: Neptune symbolizes all things which bring about or embody negation of ego.
Obviously these things fall in two big categories that we think of as positive and negative. There’s having faith, helping others, extending mercy, being optimistic…we think of these things as positive. Against this we have loss, disappointment, abandonment and denial—all of which we think of as negative.
But are they? And which really is which? It’s one thing to hold a good thought and another to substitute “good thoughts” for action. And prayer? Prayer is a lovely thing in theory, but it’s one thing when you’re praying for someone else’s protection and another when you’re praying for something you really, really want for yourself.
The separator? Ego. Praying for our own aims is an ego-driven desire. It may not be at all harmful—but to aim at something we want or which will make us happy is still an expression of ego.
So is Neptune totally anti-ego? By definition, probably. And yet if we look at the sign of Pisces—the two fish swimming in opposite directions connected by a golden cord—we get the impression that the real issue is to keep in balance: one fish shouldn’t be causing the other to be towed off course. Pisces is one of the three zodiac signs ruled by two planets, Jupiter being “first” and Neptune ruling the “outcome.” So perhaps a good way to picture Pisces, the all-encompassing sign of emotional confrontation, is to think of these planets as in some measure, working in tandem. When we keep things in perspective and balance, we gain emotional understanding. When we fail to moderate our expectations or desires or fantasies, we are undermined by our own emotions.
The separator—again—is ego, as the reason why we often fail to moderate our feelings or require that we maintain perspective is just that: ego. Whether we’re expecting too much, being unrealistic, or abandoning ourselves in giving all to others…there is a point at which we overstep our bounds. Not enough ego is as bad as too much ego, Neptunian precepts teach.
As a planet, Neptune stands at the inner edge of a vast realm known as the Kuiper Belt over which it extends its ego-denying sway to a certain extent. Not to get too technical here, Neptune’s magnetic resonance controls the physical orbits of other celestial objects such as Huya (the rainmaker), Ixion (entitlement) and—yes—Pluto the astrological transformer, as they orbit around our Sun.
So though we think of Pluto as the “power of transformation,” doesn’t the fact that Neptune controls Pluto’s orbit point to the idea that how we are transformed and our experience of transformation is at least in part determined by our ability to deal with the desire for control and lustful urgings such as Pluto symbolizes?
One would have to think yes. And that means that in a very strange sense, the “Neptune Effect” has a strong influence on Scorpio… which, if you know about Scorpio, actually seems very much true. As opposition/polarity sign to Taurus, Scorpio asks that we test and risk our values and self worth through interaction with others, be that on a personal and intimate level or through anything which can evoke that same sort of feeling of emotional vulnerability…hence why we think of Scorpio as situations and relationships which test our ability to trust. The real question is not whether we can trust them but whether we can accept what it takes to trust and emotionally survive what comes of whatever we chose to invest in—or reject.
Yes, it works both ways.
And that Scorpio is so much a matter of not just what we get into, but what we avoid, is why Pluto’s key words are create, deny, destroy—the transformative Scorpio hallmarks which seem to have everything to do with Pluto’s being controlled by Neptune, just as our decisions to get into or avoid Scorpio risks has everything to do with our ego.
The first ruler of Scorpio is Mars. And Mars also rules Aries, the “I Am” sign of ego incarnate versus what we do with this Self we are so aware of. Our Aries tests come through what we choose to get involved in or avoid—the 8th sign harmonic: Scorpio. And the outcome ruler of Scorpio is ruled by Neptune, outcome ruler of Pisces.
So it all does seem to come back to Neptune.
Next thought: if Neptune is just entering Pisces, it comes to Pisces after transiting 29 Aquarius. Aquarius being a sign of the individual and the collective of individuals we call society (inclusive of the infrastructure which supports that society), it seems worthwhile to note several things about this “Neptune at a “critical degree”” concept.
29 degrees of any sign is said to be where any symbol acts intensely and generally without heed. As Neptune hit 29 Aquarius in early March we saw the tides of revolt turning against the protesters in Libya, and Kaddafi using military force against his own. This is Neptune at 29 Aquarius all the way around, any way you look at it.
It is to remember here that astrology is not “kind.” Astrology—like the cosmos—just “is.” Humans ascribe good and bad to things in accordance with our desires, our beliefs…and yes, our ego. But energy is neither plus not minus. It merely exists—which is why as sentient beings it is our choice…even our responsibility to do something positive with our efforts, our time and our opportunities. Life is not meaningless: it has every notion of value we ascribe to and invest in it. The only question is…if the question is what we invest in, that brings us to the Pluto test of Scorpio.
Which thereafter points to Neptune. So life is only meaningless if, and to the extent that we live on and in our ego. Life doesn’t “choose” to negate our value, we choose to negate the value of all of life.
Prior to Neptune having arrived in 29 Aquarius, Uranus had already hit 29 Pisces—the last degree of the entire zodiac. They both were at 29 of their respective signs for only about six days. And as Uranus had scant hours to go before passing through the mathematical barrier into Aries, as it was at its maximal Piscean quality, a great earthquake—followed by a massive tsunami—hit Japan.
Pisces is the sign of deep oceanic water and deep, “overwhelming” feelings—tidal waves of emotion, one might say. Both seem particularly apt, particularly when we remember Uranian symbolism: change or be changed.
This is not about Japan per se: astrology is a universal system. Since what we are talking about here are global (in astrological terms “mundane,” even if they seem to be anything but!) aspects, the affect and effect should be world-wide—as indeed it has been.
If you study enough history and astrological tables, in time it becomes apparent that the rounds of the zodiac are not merely happenstance, but indeed represent the global “clockwork” which doesn’t control life on earth but which does tell us “what time it is” in our world.
So now Uranus is in “I Am” ego-driven Aries. Aries is ruled by Mars. Mars also represents the assertive or protective impulses which cause us to invest or avoid Things Scorpionic, resulting in whatever sense of gain or loss (education or bereavement) we derive from those situations, that being the Plutonic Effect.
Plus Pluto’s orbit is magnetically resonant to Neptune—a planet which far, far outstrips Pluto in size and celestial affect. Pluto is just under 1/5 the size of Earth. Neptune is just under 4 times the size of Earth. In comparison with Pluto, Neptune is a much bigger dog. Where Pluto may bark at the neighbor, Neptune runs a pack which controls the half the town.
And let’s not forget—the other planet with marked magnetic resonance is Jupiter, the other ruler of Pisces, the sign into which Neptune now moves and where it will be until 2024/2025.
Put simply, these are two planets which have wide-ranging effects, making Pisces a sign with far ranging effects—as indeed it is. Pisces is the precept of acceptance versus tolerance. Pisces is the sign in which our emotions are plumbed and where we either stop resisting the truth or where our fantasies and lies come back to haunt us. It is to be expected that over the next decade-plus, excesses and bizarre beliefs and events are going to be more stunning than ever. One would suspect that Saturn’s transit of Scorpio (late 2012 through 2014/2015) will produce difficulties and that Jupiter’s transits of Scorpio (2017/2018) and Pisces (2021/2022) will be the most unsettling—if also the most revealing. With the eclipse cycle due to roll back into Scorpio/Taurus as of 2012, learning to deal with risk and confine or accept it seems in for a major overhaul. Knowing humans, however, it’s likely this is only going to come about through dreadful events and loss.
No, people don’t learn through good times—they learn through effort, self-discipline…and when that doesn’t get us there, through loss, pain and grief. We would like to think differently, but the truth is the truth.
But yes, there are many who want to deny that. For them, Neptune provides a special haven called self-exclusion, aka denial. Denial comes in many forms. Some seem benign enough, but they all come at a cost. Under Neptune in Pisces we will all learn yet again—and far more dearly—that to not be part of the answer is to volunteer to be part of the problem.
One more idea to explore here… namely that as Neptune enters Pisces, we can expect everything associated with Neptune to become stronger, more apparent and more of a dichotomy. And since Neptune’s symbolism ranges from the watery depths of the ocean and our emotionalism to Neptune’s famously intoxifying qualities (fantasy, addiction, denial, abandonment, ecstasy, loss, expectation, idealization, imagination) to Neptune’s connections to all things toxic, dissipating and dissolute as well as all things curative and healing …
Let’s just say things are going to be challenging. Yet through our challenges we are likely to become more connected to (or reconnected with) the best of nature—human and otherwise.
It’s just not going to happen where we want it to happen. That’s the Neptunian precept. What we think most likely will turn out to be the dream…that we think least likely will in the end prove true.
And as if that isn’t enough of an idea to wrap into our souls, there is the other fact that as Neptune now enters its home sign and thus is strengthened, the Age of Pisces is on the way out. Everything which our race has thought true over the past 2,000-plus years is encountering a shift of dynamic, a purification of application. As such, we are going to see a lot of great ills being shown up (and showing up), for there is no other way to think we would purge them.
Often referred to as “the shadow self,” the Neptune of Pisces now comes into force as the sign of Pisces moves from the 1st house to the 2nd house of the Age. This tells us that life itself is moving from an Age where Humility of Self was paramount into one where we will either have no values and no self-worth, or where we will learn that the values of ability and appreciation for our being is the basis of offering something to others by which everybody wins.
And that really does mean everybody.