by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Neptune/Fomalhaut/Deneb: Dissolving Walls

Image based on "Kristallobject, Objectivism, 8°36'44' 49°43'33'"
by Bodo Sperling (1952, Hanau)

This is the story of how our world has come to be where it is…and in part, why we don’t know where we’re going. I invite you to read if you are willing to confront your own emotional vulnerabilities.

To start with…it seems a trifle odd to pair the idea of Neptune, Fomalhaut and clarification in one sentence. After all, Neptune is most typically that which is nebulous. Or dream-like. Neptune is the ‘idea of the thing’ which evokes the feeling in our mind, whether that feeling is good or bad.

(And yes, that goes with the two fishes of Pisces. Have you ever thought of them as good fish/bad fish?)

Then there’s Fomalhaut. One of the great stars of the sky, since long ago times Fomalhaut has represented a promise of success if and where our aims (ahem..dreams of success) are not corrupt or corrupted, corrosive or corruptive.

But who’s to say ‘what’s what?’ Who is to say that your dream is corrupt? If, for instance, you corner the world market in rice (one of our planet’s most important food stuffs), if you do that fair and square, playing by all the rules in the book, how can that be corrupt?

Answer: this is Pisces we’re talking about. And Pisces is the most universal of the water (emotional) signs. Pisces is the common experience of being human and the common emotional sense of being human. Where that emotionality becomes universal, human become humane. And thus, beneath the skin (or scales, if you prefer) Pisces is never ‘just’ about us. It’s always about us and everybody else on the planet.

So if you corner that rice market, why have you bothered to do so? If you’re in the entrepreneurial mode, you have probably done that so as to make money.

But what happens if people can’t pay your price?

That sort of question is where Neptune meets Fomalhaut. Or more specifically, dissolving whatever barriers or walls you have built inside which would even begin to allow you to think that it’s okay for you to raise prices and make money when that means that anyone out there is going to starve because you want another penny on the bushel – that’s Neptune meeting Fomalhaut.

Where humane meets inhumanity – or if you prefer, selfishness or blindness or denial or (on the other side) fear or threats of inability to survive or feelings of helplessness…all those are Neptune meets Fomalhaut. For you, this may be about rice. Or about something else having to do with money. Because Pisces has a connection with toxicity and anything which ‘toxifies’ or ‘detoxifies,’ we can also throw in pollution, addiction, pharmaceuticals, the chemical and oil industries as a whole. Pisces being the premier sign of the ‘Jungian consciousness,’ the emotional side of health care also enters into this – which applies whether you’re talking about emotional reactions to health care, health care entitlements, the ‘entitlement’ of the health care industry, the cost of health care and the cost not having proper health care extracts on a person, from a family, from a society and so on.

Relationships of all types (personal, professional, spiritual, in-person, online, platonic, sexual, familial, etc.) enter into this discussion as Pisces is the sign which most touches on our desire to see relationships as one thing even if in reality, they’re another. Or should be.

We’ve been talking about this for weeks now. Mercury moved into Pisces in early February, and that opened the Neptune window to all sorts of flights of fancy…and the effort to escape realities. And the need to deal with realities, which is really what Pisces is about.

Pisces as a sign says feel your feelings and deal with reality anyway. In separating the two (represented by those two fishes headed in differing directions) we are reminded that life will not ‘allow’ us to totally deny either one. Those two fishes are tied together by an immutable cord, which represents the fact that life depends on both factual reality and an understanding and acceptance of not just our own emotions, but that everybody has their own emotional perspective.

It’s as important for them to understand their emotions as it is for us to understand ours. Unfortunately, being humans (yes, this is where we all sigh) we will all tend to want to correct the ‘other guy’ and stand on (and in) our righteous truth.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the problem. OUR problem is not with them…it’s in being who we are. Or more precisely, who we like to think we are in our minds. Nobody gets up in the morning thinking they’re a bad guy. I don’t care who you pick as your nomination of Ultra Bad Dude, that Bad Dude doesn’t go to the mirror every morning and twirl their handlebar mustache (real or imagined) saying ‘ah yes…how can I be evil today?’

It’s a sobering thought too, that. But true. And what’s really tough is that even though we aren’t a UBD (Ultra Bad Dude) we still look at ourselves in the mirror and miss some of the flaws.

Those flaws are about recognizing our own emotional inconsistencies. And that’s at the core of Neptune conjunct Fomalhaut.

Mind you…as this post goes up, Neptune is just at 3 Pisces. And Fomalhaut is at 4 Pisces. Neptune won’t reach 4 Pisces until March 26, 2013. And in moving just less than a second of arc every day, Neptune will be at 4 Pisces until May 2, 2013.

And yes, Neptune will return to 4 Pisces even after that. In fact, this whole Neptune-Fomalhaut issue has been swimming up on us for some time now.

 A chart of Neptune's transit (in green) through Pisces

4 Pisces being the core of the issue, given that the standard orb of influence is 5 degrees, Neptune entered Fomalhaut’s orb of influence back in 2010.

Has there been much confusion since then? Yes. Has there been an upturn in upsetting events dating back to that time? Give or take the fact that this isn’t an ‘all-or-nothing’ perfect/imperfect world we’re talking about, I think the answer there is ‘yes’ in the Neptune-Fomalhaut (Piscean) sense. In other words, since 2010, more events, more situations, more conversations, more confrontations, more and more things have been forcing us to deal with who we are – really. At our cores. In our hearts. And where something we may feel doesn’t hold true for everyone, which gets back to that most difficult of Pisces truisms: just as I want others to accept my emotional truth, I have to accept that their emotional truth may be different.

WHY those emotional truths are different is the next step in the Pisces lesson. And since Neptune is going to be traversing Fomalhaut’s orb through 2016, apparently we still have plenty of time to learn all about it…(oh, yippee – right?)

And that leads to the next Pisces challenge: accepting that life is not perfect. It’s not that it isn’t ‘supposed’ to be pleasant…it’s just that life is life. When you watch nature documentaries and see a crocodiles rear up out of the river and grab a wildebeest by its nose, dragging the wildebeest down into the water where it will drown and be eaten, that’s the reality of life. Are you happy about it? Probably not. (And granted, the wildebeest is probably far unhappier, at least for a bit.)

But that is life. So…given that humans are at the top of the planetary food chain (give or take stray encounters with tigers, lions and crocodilians) what does that mean?

There are a million ways to think of this question and to answer it. Still…in the end the question becomes something akin to this: do we try, or do we not try? That applies to what we do. It also applies to the standards we hold for ourselves as people and in what we do – or don’t do.

There is no perfection – there’s only trying, or not trying.

(And yes, there is being trying, too…but that’s another perspective on parts A and B!)

And whether we ‘try’ or ‘don’t try’ when it comes to any given thing pretty much comes down to acceptance. Do we accept the status quo? Do we accept that we have likes and dislikes and that sometimes life isn’t the way we like it? Do we accept that life requires effort? Do we accept that life itself isn’t perfect?

Acceptance is a core Pisces ‘tool,’ if you will. And in accepting our feelings, whatever they may be about any given thing, the not running away from those feelings is Pisces Step One. Pisces Step Two is separating reality from the fantasy. And how do we define ‘fantasy’ in this case?  It could be a daydream. Or a wish. Or a sexual fantasy. Or entertainment as a fantasy distraction. There are romantic fantasies and fantasies of success.

Fantasies are how we try out ideas we might like…and very much not like. The great argument out there about whether films or video games teach violence or sexuality is part of this discussion. For some people, they’re a way to try things out and decide that’s not for you. For some, they become an enticement, an invitation to substitute the ‘fantasy’ for reality.

That’s the problem. What the video game or movie industry has to say about it? That’s business. For the same entertainment giants who will ballyhoo their success with audiences to turn around and then say they have no ‘effect’ or ‘influence’ on their audiences is silly. I’m a second-generation entertainment person and I know why such companies do what they do, but it is a little silly.

Except for one thing: Hollywood (et al) is all about the business of fantasy. At some level, every form of entertainment is about projecting some image which you get swept away by. That’s fantasy. If you think the movie business is ‘glamorous,’ you think that because Hollywood has invested billions in creating that fantasy image. You may think the Academy Awards are all about glamor or popularity when they’re actually craft awards (which is why they often go in directions the public is outraged by!)

A photograph of Fomalhaut which shows the star's surrounding dust ring
(photo credit: Hubble, NASA-ESA-JPL, ALMA, University of Florida, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, April 2012)

As someone who has worked on films, trust me – there is nothing glamorous about getting up and going to work at 4:30 in the morning. There is nothing glamorous about working 14-16 hour days and 6-day weeks for months on end without a single two-day break. There’s nothing glamorous about working with a bunch of sweaty, dirty, tired, grouchy people in a run-down building where there isn’t even any air conditioning for ten and twelve hours a day when it’s 110 degrees outside.

And music isn’t any better. I’ve worked in music too. It’s a tough, tough business. There’s a reason so many people in entertainment get into drink and drugs. There’s a reason for all the broken marriages. But while the reality of that goes on, these industries also wear a veil of Neptunian imagery which people buy into…why?
Because they want to. Because it feels good. And that’s the ‘trick’ of Neptune. Hopes and dreams are wonderful. But when hope becomes expectation, or when we think the dream is the reality, that becomes a corruption.

Yes, all businesses have their corrupt corners – that’s business. But what I’m talking about here is our willingness to corrupt our own definition of reality.

That’s what Neptune/Fomalhaut is all about. When our ability to have a real life in reality becomes corrupted by some ‘vision’ or hope or dream, where we put up walls in our lives or in our heads or hearts against accepting the whole reality and nothing but the reality as reality (to borrow liberally from a well-known phrase), Neptune’s conjuncting Fomalhaut represents a period during which situations and people and life in general will set about dissolving those walls. And showing up our mistakes. And revealing the actual facts – sometimes not so gently.

The more removed we are from that reality…or from the understanding that reality is not just about us but universal, the more challenging the Pisces lesson is.

Another important point. Anyone born during these years is going to have Neptune conjunct Fomalhaut in their natal chart. And that means in their life, for a lifetime. Depending on other factors in the chart, this may suggest that child is someone capable of great discoveries. Or someone who will go on to make wonderful contributions to society.

Then again, it could describe someone who is constantly bewildered or disappointed by life. Or someone who tries to escape life itself, heaven forbid!

As soon as I say that, I know that any caring parent of such a child will want to try and shield them from every and any difficulty. But…wait! Is that good? Or will your shielding them instill a lack of reality about how life really works which will then become a difficulty for that child as they grow up?

Knowing the difference between your Neptune and that of your child – as a parent – is really important, especially as we go through this Neptune-Fomalhaut period (or should your child be born with Neptune conjunct Fomalhaut).

So a few words on that: are there books to cover this issue in particular? No, not that I’ve ever seen. There is a book called Planets in Youth which I believe is written by Robert Hand. But that isn’t going to cover Neptune-Fomalhaut as a combination, nor is it going to help with the issue of how the parent (who has their own Neptune issues) should deal with the child.

My first suggestion is that parents know their own Neptune so they don’t project their own unresolved Neptune (Neptune/Fomalhaut) issues. The better you are at sorting reality from fantasy and useful imagination from over-idealization, the better you will be able to help your child to do the same.

In other words, some of the monsters are not under your child’s bed – they’re in your parental head as indicated by Neptune in your natal chart. That we cannot teach that we do not know, means the parent who hasn’t taken on their own issues is less likely to be fabulous parents to their kids, no matter how much they love them.

Sad but true. Alas!

Life is life.

As an astrologer, I always suggest learning more. You can read here on the blog, or from other blogs or from books. You can attend conferences. You can take astrology classes. Or you can get an astrological consultation.

As pertains to consultations, just remember that accepting what you get told about your Neptune is going to be as hard as whatever your Neptune issues are.

Also – I know astrologers come in every price point and experience range. After over three decades in the metaphysical community I suggest treating your choice of astrologer rather like choosing a neurosurgeon. Who is going to open up your skull and take out your brain tumor? Would you choose someone who doesn’t have an MD?

About…oh, fifteen years ago now (time flies when you’re writing) big astrology groups around the world started certification testing. And while there are still a lot of astrologers who know their stuff but have refused to take the tests (generally on the grounds that tests only give you a basic benchmark and don’t assure an astrologer knows ‘everything’), again…don’t you want to know that your astrologer – like your neurosurgeon – has at least proven they know the basics?

There are a list of astrological organizations in the sidebar. Not everybody belongs to all of them and not everybody who belongs to them has taken or passed certification tests. But since we’re talking about Neptune (the ideal versus the illusion) here and Fomalhaut as a symbol of success which happens only where there is a standard of purity…I’ll suggest that when in doubt, you do some checking.

The Muse of Poetry
by Konstantin Makovsky (1886, oil on canvas)

As for fees, recognize what you’re paying for – and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most astrologers have set fees for consultations. But the nature of that consultation (what it covers)? That’s probably negotiable. In this case, you might ask the astrologer if they would do a consultation on  Neptune/Fomalhaut – either in your chart, or in your chart as parent plus the chart of your child. Some astrologers will split a consultation between charts. Some won’t. When they won’t, it’s because you’re talking about two entirely different charts they have to do all the delineation of.

And a note on getting chart work on your children:  professional astrologers, tend to follow the ethics set up for medicine or psychology with regards to a child’s age. Example: where I live the age of legal ‘adulthood’ is 18. So if a parent of a 20-year-old comes to me wanting information on their child’s chart, I’m not going to be able to give them that without that child’s express permission since that child is now legally an adult.

If money is no object (or less than a critical concern, let’s put it that way!) the optimal is probably to ask for two consults - one for yourself, and one for your child. And then see if your astrologer will add comments to each consultation referring to the relationship between parent and child.

On that, there are two forms of relationship charts: the Composite and the Davison time/space chart. Having heard all the arguments and on this one, I’m just going to be an astrological stick-in-the-mud (which is hard, seeing as this is all about outer space) and say I don’t like a Composite chart for this particular use. Then again, not all astrologers know how to use Davison charts. So ask. Does your chosen astrologer use Davison charts regularly? If not, talk it through. Davisons can be a little tricky to delineate, seeing as they are not “about” a person, per se.

OKAY! That done, I return you to your regular bloggery programming….

Ideals, idols and idolatry are prime Neptune-Fomalhaut subjects. It’s been interesting (as an astrologer) to have watched the increase in ‘branding’ and ‘celebrities as authorities’ (on whatever) which has been on the rise ever since Neptune entered the zodiacal 4th quadrant back in 1984 or so.

Neptune’s passage through any sign serves to excite the ideal and exacerbate the downfall, which in the 4th quarter ‘worldly’ concept is very much akin to theme underlying George Orwell’s novel ‘1984.’ 

George Orwell press photo in 1933 from the
National Union of Journalists (BNUJ)

Foresight? Maybe. Was Orwell an astrologer? I have no idea. What I do know is that George Orwell was born with an interesting configuration: Sun conjunct Neptune, Haumea, Deucalion, Charybdis and fixed star Mirzam.

 George Orwell
June 25, 1903 - Motihari, India - LMT/-5:39:40
(no time known, horoscope cast as Aries chart)

Sun/Neptune can be complete disillusionment, or tremendous insight. It can represent great inspiration or the ultimate in wet blanketing. Probably in George Orwell’s case we got a bit of both. Deucalion (finding the moral path) and the ‘keep at it/do or die’ quality of Charybdis describes both Orwell’s life and some of the themes in his writing. (Who doesn’t believe art doesn’t imitate life?)

The real ‘trick’ with Orwell’s chart is the addition of Mirzam and Haumea to this mélange. Haumea is a Polynesian goddess who in trying to chase youth (her ideal) does all variety of things…some good and some terrible – but all of which finally get her killed. Considering this is a goddess we’re talking about, immortality is a given, so ‘killed’ becomes more of the concept of killing or having some facet of our life be ‘killed off’…or in Orwell’s case, the sacrifice (killing) of individuality (how very Neptunian a fear is that!).

To all of this we add fixed star Mirzam, a star which is all about the potential which may be glorious…but which then again, may come to nothing.

Taken altogether, these themes are very ‘Orwellian,’ as we now say. Very…“1984.”

As I say that, maybe understanding exactly this point – and that 1984 was when Neptune moved into the zodiacal fourth quadrant is eye-opener for all of us about how ‘prophesies’ or prophetic writings work?

It may be interesting to some in our brave new world of Internet connections, social media and technology that when Neptune traversed fixed star (nebula) Facies in 1988, that year saw the ‘launch’ (if you can call it that) of the very first computer worm – from MIT, of all places. (Apparently MIT giveth and MIT taketh away…)

Then in 1991, when in the disruptive company of ‘let’s change things up here’ Uranus Neptune traversed Capricorn’s famously charismatic fixed star Vega (known for its powers of persuasive or inspiring speech) the Soviet Union dissolved.

In 2005, Neptune moved across the Aquarian cross-quarter point.

This move meant that Neptune had moved from the learning about (or ‘gathering information’) section of the zodiacal 4th quarter into it’s imperative to act section – which is embodied by the second half of Aquarius (by and large societal acts which can be reacted to but not totally controlled) and Pisces. ‘Control’ and the ability to have boundaries on ‘things’ became less sure even as our ability to have control and boundaries in our own lives – thanks to social media and many other factors, also became less “focused.”

So there was more hype, less surety. More assertions based on less (or no) facts and fewer ways to contain those statements, thoughts or acts based on what had been heard.

The Neptunian fog was getting thicker. 

2006 saw a lot of things happen. It was a bad year for airplane crashes. Twitter got launched. There were a lot of wars and a general feeling of elevated threat (i.e., loss of faith in social stability) as even the nations which weren’t fighting were doing a lot of saber rattling. During that year Neptune conjuncted Sualocin, a fixed star currently positioned at 17 Aquarius which I’m thinking we should spend more time discussing. (Yes, I’m thinking again – dangerous, isn’t it?) Sualocin is a star associated with ‘tantalizing mysteries’ and ‘deeper messages’ which need to be ‘teased’ out of the broad stroke information or rhetoric.

One good example of how Sualocin would work is the 2006 ‘demotion’ of Pluto to dwarf planet status. In astronomy, there was a bit of a fluffle. But in astrology, there was frothing – out of which came the decision that no label could change what astrology had already come to understand as the ‘power of Pluto’ in astrological terms.

But did anybody immediately recognize what Pluto’s being “demoted” in astronomical terms - changing its metaphysical meaning not a jot – meant with regards to the importance of other dwarf planets?

No. And as a matter of fact, that’s still being discussed (though everybody seems to be slowly coming around). But it took a while for astrology to ‘tease’ the important reality of other dwarf planet energetics out of the tantalizing debate concerning Pluto’s label.

That was Neptune-Sualocin in conjunction.

Fomalhaut is the next major star on the list. Currently at 5 Pisces, in being conjuncted by Neptune, Deneb’s strong shamanistic qualities, combined with Fomalhaut’s Royal Star message can be seen as the highs and lows of any sort of spiritual or emotional ‘belief’ you may have…or which is embodied by some organization in world society. The upswing in interest and research in the area of  parapsychology (i.e., ghosts), replete with the dotted line which leads us to conversations about parallel dimensions or things like cloning are all in this mix. We can expect great knowledge and great misuse of knowledge now. There will be those who proclaim they know but don’t, and those who know but who don’t see themselves as important in the grand scheme of things.

For individuals…in our everyday lives, it’s probably safe to be entertained by things but not as safe to be swayed entirely by what you hear.

That world economies have been struggling seems very much about Neptune-Fomalhaut. And yes, Neptune-Deneb, too. But it’s not just about the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer – it’s about our universal regard about money, earning and loss or ‘being entitled’ to anything means. In Piscean and Neptunian terms, sometimes loss is about teaching us what really matters.

As Neptune moves across Fomalhaut, it seems likely that we will see many financial ills shown up – both at the ‘wanting’ end and at the end populated by that group known colloquially as “the have’s” There’s likely to be an exaggerated flare-up of ‘stuff-ism’ and other forms of flagrant non-necessity, at the same time as we are likely to hear of things toxic and actual toxins, human need and human charity and kindness.

Seeing that Pisces is also the sign of royalties, annuities, pensions and old age finances, Neptune-Fomalhaut is highly likely to show up great strengths and weaknesses in the structure of these financial instruments and systems.

We’re also very apt to get hyped and lied to about them. 

Considering Pisces is the sign of sexual fantasies (as opposed to physical sexuality, which is Scorpio) we are likely to hear from everyone who is anyone in these kinds of conversations: medicine, religions, those who stand for abstinence, those who believe in polygamy and those who think sex is only about procreation - and what that means in terms of real life and human realities, as opposed to philosophy, spirituality or theory.

We’re likely to hear a lot about those who are all for sex of various kinds, right out past kinky into deviant. We’re likely to hear a lot about sexual psychology and the psychology of sexuality – the good and bad and speculative of it.

As Neptune’s movements move past Fomalhaut and center more on Deneb, certain convictions will come into question. ‘Being sure’ of something which you can’t prove may become less valuable than something less exciting but more functional, more…realistic.

In short, by the time this is all over we may learn to treat ourselves with more humanity – and therefore become more able to bear being more human in this world, and with each other.

Then again, instead of accepting and working through the lumps in life’s oatmeal, we may just ignore all the creaking and groaning until the roof falls in.

Reality occurs to each of us in our own way. That’s Neptune too, especially in the sense that at some point each one of us has to realize that individuality includes the right to be wrong. Yes, even at cost – and to think that you can ‘fix’ or love someone out of their ignorance or denial is a form of denial on our own part.