We are presently at a slight interlude in the Journey of Neptune. He’s back in Aquarius, having put a toe into Pisces earlier in the year. He’ll be back in the sign of Pisces for the 13 year long haul in February 2012.
There’s a lot to Neptune’s travels through any sign, and each time it’s going to be a synergy of interlocking influences astrologically, but as you look back you get some sense of what Neptune actually does. He colours our collective dreams, passions and visions. He also turns things “mass” in a certain way. Mass-consciousness, mass-trends, mass-infatuations, mass-ideals, mass-delusions. Neptune moves things through powerful ebbs and flows of deep sentiment, attraction or aversion, a fluid magnetism that changes the landscape of how we thought things were at the time.
I was born with Neptune in Scorpio, and it was there until I was 11 years old. Throughout my entire infancy and childhood really (I count my childhood as having ended the Summer before), Neptune’s vibration transmitted through the station of the scorpion and the phoenix. It actually went into Scorpio at the end of 1955. 1955 – 1970, with typical dips in and out before going in properly in ’57. These were really times of the rebirth of a post war, post A bomb consciousness, of counterculture, and something that lay beneath the sex, drugs and rock n roll label. People dove down to find hidden light, and eliminated constraints (or believed they did) in pursuance of that illumination. Others responded differently to this tide, whether with fear, bewilderment, denial or detachment, but the landscape changed nonetheless. By 1971 the station had changed to expansive, wide ranging but potentially fanatical Sagittarius. 1971 – 1984 is the purest Neptune in Sagittarius period. This period sees the hey day of urban guerillas and zealous “terrorism”, the popularisation of political Islamic ideology, and I suspect the foundation work of the ascending religious right. It also saw a lot of deepening of spiritual search idealistically, and the proliferation of alternative belief systems both in religion and health. International travel had become something that many, many people undertook, even if it was only to Benidorm.
By 1984 Neptune had entered Capricorn, where it would be till 1998. The collective dream seemed to become very material during this time. Wealth and meritocracy, matt black, yuppies, quick profit, fools gold. When Neptune met Uranus in this sign the Berlin Wall fell. The Cold War unravelled. Kids started wearing designer labels as identity and status markers. The collective psyche seemed to have been corporatised at some level, like never before. Mass passions became acquisitive.
And so, in 1998 Neptune entered Aquarius. Our dreams turned to connection. The internet, which had been about for some time, now really started to seep into everyone’s lives. Technology created a kind of virtual astral plane, and it was mind blowing and life changing for those to whom it was new. Our whole sense of community and interrelationship shifted and became both expanded and selectable. Information became the King’s new wardrobe.
Now Neptune is about to leave Aquarius (for the next 165 years or so). It’s easy as an amateur astro-freak to either be wistful or just think “thank god”, depending on your personal bias towards a sign or a time. But as the tide ebbs and leaves us with the beached wrecks that we thought were eternally sea going vessels, it’s an interesting time to look at our ideals and dreams and what they mean to us, and what dreams themselves may be for.
I think we are about to realise what the internet could never do for us, as well as appreciate how much it did do, most especially for those people in need of connection just to find themselves, eg dispersed minorities. Dreams can be precursors of real change, and real work, actual fulfilment of real needs. And are not most dreams of worth if they inspire, and even prove useful and sustaining? They make us reach for what we suddenly see could be possible. Furthermore, are dreams not capable of realization within limits that exact a realistic price? We can be surprised at both how much is realistic, and what turns out to be real at all.
Neptune is now to take its latest residence in Pisces, and this might be both sobering and inspiring. I suspect the synthetic astral plane we have created with technology will now prove too material for our deeper needs, and too transient for the demands of durability and physicality. Neptune in Pisces offers something a lot older and more perennial, but not amenable to the same uses. Different time, different job.
What opportunities and what follies could this offer? Up to us I guess. Easy gold is always fools gold, though the taste of the dream is of course something in itself. Neptune can bring glamour, and glamour is a bitter trail to wisdom. But Neptune can also bring illumination, with our conscious work, and rewards that come to all.