King Neptune in His watery realm

After the entry of Uranus into Aries last month, the next big thing (and it is big) is the entry of Neptune into its own sign of Pisces on 4th April, where it will stay until August, then dipping back into Aquarius, before finally going in for its long stretch in February of 2012. The day that Uranus entered Aries (squaring Pluto) the nuclear power plant in Japan blew up, following the tragic earthquake and tsunami of the day before. Even away from the tragedy of Japan, with the hardship that people are facing with recession and a determined cutting of public services in so many places, but also with the fight that this is starting to engender for people’s rights, having a very different energy added to the mix is welcome. Neptune in Pisces is one hell of a different energy.

The last passage of Neptune through Pisces was in the mid 1840s to early 1860s – a time of political ferment and upheaval, of The Communist Manifesto, of Darwin’s “Origin of Species”, of Dickens’ socially concerned novels, and the rise of “the novel” itself. This is also a time of Industry, and of changes to the roles of women, and to individualized expressions of women’s creativity, plus the entry of women into what had been exclusively male professions. Also the invention of anaesthesia, and the pioneering of the modern understanding of microbes and the role of pathogens in disease. While slavery dragged on for many years after, the passage of Neptune through Pisces saw a great deal of abolitionist activity and advances. We also get photography, and the seed of film and cinema, gold rushes and civil war, Walt Whitman and the American Transcendentalists.

There are some interesting blog posts on Neptune in Pisces here and here, but what I pick up from this is a greatly accentuated perception of human suffering inspiring work for reform and change, the undercutting of certain kinds of powerful beliefs about what and who we are collectively, the arising of popular and populist art forms of immense accessibility and power, capable of conveying enormous amounts of emotional meaning to everyday people. There is also I think an undeniable achievement of concrete means for alleviating suffering, for those who can get the measures. Somewhere in here there is also an attempt to answer a spiritual call very directly and with a democratic and intuitive purity, while there is also ample opportunity to be led on wild chases after mirages of gain. Neptune and Pisces both have a capacity to dissolve boundaries, and last time Neptune was in his own sign, I think he prepared the ground for some far reaching change.

When we see all we’ve been through in the last few decades, the booms and busts, the guarded aspirations, the greed, the violence, the war, fear and paranoia, the disease, the electronic and information revolutions, the new age dreams and hype, the fundamentalism, the progress and the trivia, the liberation of virtual community, the shrinking of the global distances, and the actual poverty and deprivation of so many – well the King coming back to his own realm is something else.

Buckle up – we have no idea where this goes, but after 164 years we may well need it again.

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