by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, April 4, 2011

Neptune enters Pisces


 Planet Neptune
photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In the astrological world, Neptune entering Pisces is one of the ‘biggies.’ It’s not just that Neptune is changing signs, no. That, it does once every dozen-plus years or so (the last time being back in 1998).

No, the really big deal here is that Neptune is entering its ‘home’ sign of Pisces, where it rules the ‘outcome’ of all things Piscean. The challenge here is one we’ve discussed at least an oodle of times…Pisces being the most ‘worldly’ of watery emotional signs, it’s about our experience of emotions – which includes all those deep internal feelings…our longings, our faith, our yearnings, and maybe most importantly, our fantasies.

And that means all our fantasies, from the Disneyland to the sexual fantasy to those things which we may delude ourselves with to the expectations which simply aren’t based in reality or realistic overviews of what really is and (given our times or human nature) is likely to be the truth.

Thus we come to the real nature of Pisces – and what Neptune means astrologically. Pisces is the experience of our feelings and what we feel about our feelings…or even about having feelings. And the two fish headed in opposite directions which is the Piscean emblem, that is about our tendency to part from reality.

Now this can be good – as in the case of creative artists and those who choose to have mercy enough to believe someone can rehabilitate themselves from (for instance) a bad act. So long as you’re not foolish yourself (i.e., as long as you’re being realistic) about your chances of great success in the creative world or how many people are perfectly willing to say ‘I’ll change!’ but who don’t really mean it…the choice to try is yours. The willingness to realize where hope and faith ends and where reality begins – that’s also yours.

The totem fish of Pisces are tied by a golden cord. That cord represents the ‘tether’ with which we need to be tied to reality.

 Pisces - the two fish, each going their own way. Is one going
upstream and one going with the current? Are they simply in a
tug of war because they're undecided what's the right way to go?
Are they both fighting to get their way? The sign of Pisces is all about
all these ideas and anywhere else in our lives where we are emotionally
tested against our emotions, our ego and our sense of containment and
ownership of individuality and boundaries.

That quality of ‘knowing’ where ‘real’ ends and fantasy begins – that’s where we move from the  wonderful world of Jupiter (Pisces’ first ruler) to Neptune, Pisces’ outcome ruler. Where we know and accept our limitations, Neptune provides great inspiration, great happiness and in the end, a sense of acceptance – not by others (that’s Aquarius) but that we’re fine just like we are. That life is okay, whatever it is. That we know taking the good with the not-so-good is just part of the process.

As last sign of the zodiac, Pisces is often associated with the end of life – just as Aries is associated with infants and birth. So as Neptune is the ‘outcome’ ruler of Pisces, so it’s not that hard to understand Neptune as a symbol of ‘dissolution’…where the life ‘dissolves,’ which is pretty much just the opposite of Mars as ruler of Aries, giving Mars that aura of ‘just starting’ and ‘initiating.’

With Mars now in Aries, we could easily say that Neptune moving into Pisces is the beginning of things ending. And in some cases that will no doubt prove true. Of course that’s true all the time – somewhere, people are winding down a job. Vacations are ending. Lives are running their course. But this combination is likely to spell/say more. From here until May 11 when Mars moves into Taurus its likely we will hear about things which denote endings. Considering Mars is often a sign of fractious fervency, this is also likely to give us a window on things which are in the process of ‘going away’ (or being dissolved) doing so. Or the finding of a way to make them do so. Or realizing that in this time, an entire era is over.

Let’s remember, Neptune’s orbit is 164.79 years long. That means its been a good long time since Neptune last entered Pisces. Last time Neptune entered Pisces was 1847/48 (retrogrades, you know…) which was when the stage was being set – in the United States, at least – for the Civil War, a war which not only ended slavery, but which in its settling out produced a system Americans now know as ‘Federal debt.’

No, until then there had been no federal debt, folks – US life had been strictly cash and carry. 164 years later the United States is wallowing in debt it can’t seem to come to terms with.

Of course when you’re on the national scene, the flip side of debt is (all together now!) taxes. The United States instigated the tax system which has grown to be a mind-boggling tax code in 1861 – specifically to pay for the Civil War.

War and taxes seem an odd pair, but historically they appear very much to be oddly tied together. Why that is would also be Piscean and Neptunian as wars are more often than not fought because of territorial claims and desires for power, and those are all about ego drives…national or personal, in the case of tyrants and other types.

And those who defend against same? Well, it’s one thing when a bunch of countries band together, but when one country goes out there acting like Superman, that’s ego too.

In the end, the real issue is that people seem to have a hard time just living together. But what’s that about? That’s about a difficulty with admitting that we’re all human and that no one human being is really any better – or different – than another.

That difference, or those (ego-driven) feelings of discomfort with thinking we’re all ‘just people’ is very Piscean. It’s part of the Pisces core challenge.

And that is now going to be very much heightened, as Neptune not only moves into Pisces, but does so as the Age of Pisces (the 2,160 year-long astrological age, this would be)…the Piscean Age is on its way out.

Considering human nature, this like as not will exacerbate a lot of things. After all, when habits have been developed and honed over a couple of thousand years people aren’t so hinky-dinky about giving them up. They don’t know what else to be…they won’t feel secure in thinking anything else can work.

The Age of Aquarius – which we are moving into – is all about equality and universality in theory and of mentality. The Age of Pisces, which we are leaving is all about the pro and con of emotionalism, which has long, long, long been transferred into the ‘knows’ and ‘know nothings,’ the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and every other form of those in power and those out of power who must serve or be subjugated to the will of the ruler (dominance and submission) – or in the case of democracy (if you want to go there) a “ruling” party.

As Neptune passes through Pisces, we can expect all those on the more “powerful” side of every equation to cling to the right to ‘have’ what they have – whether they earn what they have or they take it through mandate or pronouncement or capitalistic forces or whatever else you like. We can also expect that for all people who stand back and gaze upon all with a bit of perspective will say ‘gee – they’re all acting just alike!’ that those who are operating out of their sense of ‘rightness’ will resist recognizing that ego is ego is ego is ego, whether you dress it in capitalistic, socialistic or communist garb….whether you call it oppression of women, market forces, save the children or anything else.

The reality that all life – not just human life has value? That hasn’t even yet dawned. But that’s very Aquarian Age, and part of Neptune moving through Pisces at this time will be to ‘dissolve away’ many of these ‘inequalities’ of perspective. It may take a long, long time…in fact, it’s likely to. But we are likely to see a lot of giant, stunning shifts during the next decade-plus to come.

That a good deal of this will be seen in societal terms is indicated by the calculated form of Lilith (Black Moon Lilith) perfecting its conjunction to Uranus at 2am (UT/+0) on April 4th, only a couple of hours before Neptune enters Pisces at 1:37pm (UT/+0) on the same day.

 A spirograph drawing

And this is no ordinary once-and-goodbye sort of conjunction as Lilith and Uranus will continue to be in conjunction/orb with each other all the way into June. 

When/as that happens, Lilith (which moves far, far faster than Uranus) will be leaving the standard (Ptolemaic) 5 degrees of orb allowed for conjunctions in opposition to Saturn...with Saturn on station going direct.

This is a big dotted line drawn in celestial terms between here and June. And if you must know (which you must because I'm saying you must!) this oppositional Lilith/Saturn tension will last right up until the July 1st Solar Eclipse.

You were looking for a signal of societal and life shifts? Well, search no more - you've found it, replete with timetable!

(Well, at least one of the timetables...there are several!)

But what is Black Moon Lilith? Ah...that's a plain ol' everyday astronomical question - and thus rather easy to answer. Black Moon Lilith is the calculated point where the Moon’s orbit around Earth comes closest to Earth. And like just about all other things celestial and orbital, this point moves in one of those lovely spirograph sort of patterns.

Astrologically, this connection between Moon, Earth and Sun has a great deal to do with society; the Lunar Nodes (where the orbital path of Moon around Earth intersects that of Earth around Sun) denotes where we connect with our society. Extrapolating from that, it’s easy to see where the Moon’s perigee point (a fancy name for where the Moon is closest to Earth) is where our ‘world’ comes ‘closest’ to us.

Call it ‘life getting in our face,’ if you will!

The 'Supermoon' of March 2011 as photographed by Bubba73.
How interesting that something which astrologically tells us to face
that we don't want to face could get known in the media as 'super'!

That Full Moon of March which everyone got so excited about – that was a perigee Full Moon. Not to say it wasn't a beautiful thing to see, but in more astrological terms that was a Full Moon conjunct Black Moon Lilith...which is why many of us felt deep concern for things going on in our world at that time. Maybe Libya topped your list. Or Japan’s anguish with the tsunami and nuclear reactors whose containments (yes,) seem to be dissolving. (Along with a lot of enthusiasm for nuclear power, of course.)

But as someone who takes notes on such things (yes, ‘tis the lot of an astrologer, not to mention a student of humanity…) even those who weren’t focused on Middle East/North Africa doings or Japan – people everywhere just felt beleaguered. They were concerned with various things going on in their world.

That was life – the matter of surviving and managing life in this world (Black Moon Lilith) at a high tide point (the Full Moon) in our face. And since then we have also seen an upsurge of activities which one can bet were fomenting in that moment.

So now Black Moon Lilith meets up with Uranus. This ‘vibe’ has been been growing stronger and stronger over the past few weeks and now – mere hours from Neptune’s entrance into Pisces…

….let’s just say these days/weeks past were much like a slow fuse burning down. Now it hits zero hour. The ‘explosion’ can be real or can be realization – it depends. But don’t think it isn’t going to count. With this conjunction happening in this moment, there is a lot of energy being vested at the outset of Neptune’s ingress into Pisces.

Atropos, scissors in hand, cuts the thread which
fellow Greek Fate Lachesis has measured out - hence, the
'length' or the 'measure of a life.' In mythic parlance (at least
Greek) the thread of life starts with Klotho, she who spins
the yarn...but that's a different tale!

Will it last? At least in memory, yes. And that we know because Byblis enters Taurus at 3:22pm on April 4th (UT/+0) and Atropos enters Capricorn at 12:11pm on the same day. 

Atropos is endings - which is why as one of the Greek Fates she is so often pictured as cutting the 'thread of life.' Capricorn is about life structures – the kinds of things which form the framework upon which all else is hung.

Byblis is about a passionate effort to defend the indefensible...and sometimes the 'casting of one's lot' with another, the "surrendering of worth." In entering Taurus, this is a metaphysical symbol for the frenetic effort to defend values and the desire for things to be as they were when they didn’t work then and they aren’t going to work now...all against the idea that what (or who) you have chosen to 'invest' in may in the end betray you or actually prove to be incredibly detrimental.

With Byblis, there is always a 'then' - the 'back then' when you acquired a taste for something, when you left the proper path, when you did something you feel you "can't help" but in reality, simply haven't insisted that you resist.

And all that leads to your 'now.'

As for Byblis against Neptune, that's a whole tale unto itself. Where Atropos-Capricorn-Neptune would seem to be more about business, governments and a general ‘ruling class,’ Byblis/Neptune is about one’s illusions of grandeur. Or the defending of a point of view which is indefensible. The famously ill-translated ‘let them eat cake’ of Marie Antoinette would be a good (if simplistic) example of such. The “story” goes that regular French people were starving and without bread and Marie Antoinette said ‘if they have no bread, let them eat cake!’ which is a pretty entitled thing to say (had she actually said that, which evidently she didn’t!).

 Biblis by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1884)

But that’s another story. You can read it if you like (LINK to Blog on Marie Antoinette) but she didn’t say exactly that. Was she ignorant of the truth of what the people were going through? Yes. But Marie Antoinette, unlike many who in today’s world choose not to see what the poor go through, or what sending people to war does to the human psyche, or what terrible things come from corporate greed which values huge paychecks for upper management and stockholders over the public….

…back in the day Marie Antoinette was forbidden to go out into the public. Today’s CEO’s and plain old well-to-do folks just refuse to see what the true costs of their luxuries are.

Plus this isn’t “just” entitlement. This is Byblis, a symbol which really pushes the creepy edge of the concept. The term ‘incestuous’ goes very well with Byblis, and astrologically that would apply whether you’re talking about a sexual connection or the “lesser” concepts of nepotism, family guilt, political favors (‘but I owe them!’) or any variety of plaintive (yes, Byblis has a plaintive side) “I can’t help it” sort of thing.

I have often written (mostly elsewhere) that the real cost of war is not just the people who die on the battlefields or in towns which are bombarded or destroyed, it’s greatly to the soldiers a country sends out to commit “justified murder” who then come home scarred by all they’ve seen.

Byblis/Neptune certainly has a corrosive sexual side. With Byblis entering Taurus there is absolutely a corrupted quality of greed which amounts to riches gained out of sacrificing the sanity and lives of others. But with Byblis entering Taurus as Neptune enters Pisces, the real cost of trauma – be it from war or child/spousal/elder abuse, the mutilation of women, the human sex/slave trade – it’s all up for exposure.

We can expect to hear a lot about this. And those who don’t want to hear about it are allowing it to happen.
Neptune entering Pisces now is about humans being called on the ethical morality of their humanness. We talk a lot about it, we don’t do much to live to our word.

Over the centuries, literally millions of people have been killed because they “believed in the wrong God.” Really? Like if God is God there would be more than one of them – and who is anyone to say what the ‘right’ way is to worship? And if it is wrong, why not let that other person have it out with God – who are you to think they should be eradicated?

Ego, ego, ego! Humans are so much more afraid of their own ego than each other. Our guilt is far more to the self who knows better than to the other who called us on our selfishness. Our defiance and denial is the ego demanding we not be wrong and therefore not be belittled…not by “them” but in our own eyes.

Our ego-driven eyes. You know, those eyes that are always looking out for number one?

The message Neptune - and Pisces - and thus Neptune as 'outcome' ruler of Pisces teaches is that there needs to be balance. One fish isn't supposed to tow the other off course. Yes, we need to take care of ourselves. We need to invest in ourselves. We need to stand up for ourselves and ask - and if necessary, insist - that we be dealt with fairly.

But that doesn't mean we get to dictate to the world. Just as we have our way, they have their way. And just as we need to stand up for ourselves, we also need to be part of the greater whole and stand up for what's right for that, too...whether we're talking ecology, human rights, economics, spirituality - what have you.

And when we say 'what's right' here, we mean what works for everyone. It can't just work for you with everyone else paying your way. Everyone has something to contribute, whether that's a smile or an invention, brute strength, strength of character, the generous hand, the open mind, the willingness to share or just care.

John Atkinson Grimshaw's Spirig of the Night (1846)
The fantasies we all so love and long for can be ours, so
long as we accept, comprehend and cope with reality,
starting with how and where we have colored 'outside the
lines' of humanity, morality, knowledge and fairness...
not just with others, but with ourselves.

There is so much in this world which so many shy away from saying it's 'all wrong.' And yet they won't just be there for others. Most of us just want to know others accept us and will hear us out. That even if they don't agree with us or maybe don't want to live or believe as we do that there's room in their heart and in our world for all of us to just exist.

Neptune now moves into Pisces. Expect to experience the best and worst humanity has to offer in years to come. Prepare to pay the price for your own unwillingness to deal with reality…and realities.

And yet…this is no death sentence. Not to life, no! But maybe yes to our egotistical point of view that things should be as they were. Or how we would want them to be. Our lives are ours. LIFE isn't ours. We are part of life - its rules are our dictates.

Forgetting that tends to be a problem.

Speaking of which, going forward we are, quite simply all part of the answer, or part of the problem. After all, there are only two fish.

So, which way will you swim?

This is one of those blogs which should be posted and left for people to come back to. Why? Because we are going to be feeling the effects for some time to come. Look back at the last time Neptune moved through Pisces. Speaking merely in terms of the US Civil War, Neptune’s passing through Pisces provided the basis upon which the war was prosecuted. The effects went on from there.

As life now begins to let go in order to rebuild from here. Yes, it’s a time to have faith. It’s also a time to stop thinking you don’t have to do anything. It’s a time to stop being so comfortable and start feeling a little angst, a little pain – no matter who you are.

There’s plenty to go around, after all. And more than that, it’s only by uniting as human beings …by accepting our differences along with the commonalties of aims, need for security and feelings that any of us can achieve peace. Not world peace, but peace as beings living in a world which supports our embracing of our life.

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