This article is necessarily a bit personal. Astrologers are focusing a lot right now on the effects of the important Uranus square to Pluto. This transit creates many revolutionary changes, paradigm shifts and of course, surprises. The surprise election of a somewhat moderate candidate in Iran may be an example. What is getting less attention is the more subtle transit of Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is in its natural placement here so it can have a very strong impact although it might not be immediately apparent. Also, for me, this is a particularly important transit as it is making aspects to both the Sun and Moon in my chart.
In the past I have often used the nature of the ‘Seattle rain’ as a metaphor for how Neptune works. You walk outside and see that it’s not raining, and it feels more like a misty soft blanket. You think you don’t need a raincoat and yet within 10 minutes or less, you’re soaking wet. It was soft, subtle, romantic even, so much so, that it felt like nothing was happening.
It is interesting to me that so many astrologers regard Neptune negatively. Often such words as deception, scandal, lying, full of illusions, and being unrealistic are used to characterize the attribute of this planetary archetype. The positive side may be described as imaginative, good skills in visual, musical or the film arts and maybe the planet that helps one develop compassion and empathy. OK, these words are fine as far as they go, but they miss the most important point. The outer planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto represent ‘transformative processes’ that are evolutionary in nature. They are taking us as individuals and humanity as a whole into a new type of consciousness that is unfamiliar, strange and very important for our human species. Neptune is the planet often associated with mysticism and the process of dissolving ego.
But what does that really mean? Is it possible to describe it in a way people can understand more clearly? This article is my attempt to do just that, even if only in a beginning way.
There is no other way to begin but to ask the question who are we. Are we merely and solely biological organisms that are born, live and die? Is that all there is? Sure, human beings have been asking this question for a long time, but is it asked with an intense desire to find out an answer? The outer planets represent the process that erases the parts of our mind that create ignorance of our real nature as more than physical bodies. And Neptune, in particular, is here to help us move beyond the sense of small ego that lives out of fear and introduce the feeling/sense that we are so much more than that.
Uranus introduces us to new ‘mental’ constructs, but Neptune takes us into new ‘feelings’ of compassion, wholeness, love and empathy. Together they work to change our entire sense of who we are. Sometimes astrologers have it backwards. They regard Neptune as creating illusion. But, it seems to me that the Neptunian process exposes our belief systems as that which creates the system of illusions which may dominate our consciousness. Neptune tells us that not only do we not need belief systems but that, in fact, they are in the way of a direct experience of our real nature. Can you see how we may have it backwards?
I’m sure that many of my readers have heard this expression. What is ego as it is used in this context? Essentially, it is the set or sum total of belief systems, fears, expectations that we use to define ourselves, etc., which limit us into a very small view of ourselves and the world. Ego blocks love, compassion and that ‘self’-ishness turns the world into a very difficult and painful place. We imagine a better place or a utopian world not realizing that no political or governmental system will bring that world into being. It’s not the system that is the problem, it is us. When we change and live in the world out of love, the world will simultaneously change.
One philosopher describes the Neptunian experience as the realization that we are all “netted.” Uranus and Neptune are pairs, that is, two sides of the same set. Uranus asks us to see ourselves as unique beings. Neptune wants us to feel that we are all connected. Both are true. Our minds think this is impossible, that it must be one way or the other. But, a transcendent experience takes us beyond such limited mental thinking. We must leave the ‘either-or’ type of thinking and push towards ‘both-and more’ thinking.
The fact that the outer planets are new to our consciousness tells us that we have much to learn. If this world and life is a School where we are here to learn, then when I look around what I see is that as a whole we may be in kindergarten. The notion that we are completely independent beings, separate from others, is a childlike view. It’s what we expect from 5 year olds, but not from adults.
Neptune creates conditions that can soften us, help us sense the truth that we are so much more connected than we imagine. The real problem is when Neptune meets ‘ego.’ Of course, that is what happens most of the time. Situations may emerge that disappoint us. We may think we have been sabotaged. But, when this occurs, it’s important to take time to understand why this occurred. Let me give a concrete example. A client asked me to help advise her on how to manipulate a situation so that she could gain control of a specific business opportunity. She spent a great deal of time developing a scheme to turn things in her favor. Well, at that time Neptune was very active in her chart and not only did things not turn out the way she wanted, but others became very disappointed in her as she was revealed to be untrustworthy. She did not see this. She felt that she didn’t deserve this ‘bad treatment.’ However, it was just a lesson. But it was a lesson that she did not learn.
When we operate from love and compassion and combine that with the clarity we learn from Saturn, things work out well for us. But for this to happen, we must act from a place that is less concerned for oneself and much more concerned for others or for the best outcome for everyone involved and for the greater whole as well. Neptune asks us to really look at our true motives. We mustn’t fool ourselves, which we all know is so easy to do.
Why is this so? Because the process that literally creates the universe is Love. That is the nature of the Force that brings the universe into being. And this experience is what has been called ‘mystic love’ or enlightenment by those who have been graced with its Light.
The Neptunian process can takes us into other worlds of inspiration and discoveries of all kinds. We begin to see that there is much more to us than we have imagined. And, with Neptune in Pisces, many of us may begin to take this kind of transformation seriously.
Please consider leaving your response and please ask questions if you feel moved to do so. I will try to answer them in my next article.