I am happy to announce that the Sher Astrology website has a new author, Grace Ironwood. Grace was a student of the School many years ago and has recently been inspired to write about the nature of two coinciding but contrasting transits: Neptune in Pisces and Uranus in Taurus. This article explores the potentials for how Neptunian compassion and love might bring about a new approach and paradigm shift (Uranus) to Western materialism by asking us to look at what is essentially needed for us to be able to have a sustainable, meaningful and valuable life.
The Neptunian Wave. Jim Sher and Kimberly Maxwell have written in recent weeks about the significance of Neptune’s transit through Pisces, the Sign that it rules. The influence of Neptune is not always dreamy or pleasant. Experience teaches that Neptune can also be a harbinger of confusion, mysterious illness, and patterns of sacrifice. Our entire world is experiencing a Neptunian wave of this kind right now.
There is a part of the wave that is comforting, and perhaps even a gift. It takes the form of people coming together to help one another. People are finding ways to transcend physical boundaries and join together (Neptune) even as we are physically forced apart (Saturn/Pluto). And, the public sphere is filled with voices making the point that “we are all in this together.”
Among other things, commentators are urging employers to show “compassion,” “empathy,” and “flexibility” to their employees. These are words that readers of this website will recognize as the language of Neptune and Pisces. They are not words that describe the predominant workplace culture in this country, where rigid and dehumanizing policies reign; where risks are, by design, offloaded to those least able to bear them. Could it be that the misty tide of Neptune’s transit through Pisces will dissolve these cruel and stifling norms?
Another part of the Wave is washing away rules. As you read the daily news about the pandemic, notice how often the actions needed to respond to this crisis are blocked or delayed by rules. Rules imposed at all levels of government, as well as rules that businesses adopt internally to manage their operations. Rules against telecommuting are prominent example of the latter. Rules are Saturnian, of course. They provide necessary structure. But rules can also be paralyzing. And, they are commonly used to maintain authoritarian power structures, which may or may not be benevolent.
The current crisis is exposing the reality that many rules that were thought to be necessary are … not. They are in the way and making things worse. And so they are being relaxed, suspended, or changed. While I think this pattern reflects the interplay between several planetary forces, Neptune is clearly in the mix. Rules establish boundaries. Whenever we see a boundary (rule) moving, changing, or dissolving, that is a Neptunian process at least in part. Right now, Neptune’s position in the mutable water sign of Pisces is amplifying the process, making it easier to deliver the help that is so badly needed in so many areas.
Money Shock: Venus meets Uranus in Taurus. Did you notice that the stock market plunge accelerated in the days surrounding the time of the Venus-Uranus conjunction in Taurus (Mar. 8)? Go back and re-read Kimberly’s AstroCast posted on March 6. With her permission, I’ve expanded on one of her passages below. Words in italics are mine.
The Venus/Uranus conjunction in Taurus also initiates a new annual cycle that could provide an extra kick to knock down the walls of resistance that many business and government institutions have internalized to connecting with others on a compassionate level, if we are not willingly allowing them to fall. This alignment may bring about some unexpected earthquakes in our economic relationships wherein the chasm between what we want and what is actually happening may need to be addressed. We want meaningful lives and relationships. Instead, what is “actually happening” is that our culture substitutes money for meaning. The prevailing belief system teaches that monetary profit is the most important goal to strive for. Some even believe it is the only legitimate goal. And for many, the noisy competitive pursuit of social media “followers” has replaced the quiet, thoughtful process of cultivating true friendships. Suddenly, this chasm between what we truly want and what is actually happening is harder to ignore. Better belief systems would not have stopped the virus from emerging, but would certainly help us to overcome it. And belief systems can change.
There may be a strong impulse to break free and start something new, or at least to spark new life into dysfunctional relationship patterns. Relationships between the people and their governments, workers and employers, customers and businesses, borrowers and lenders, tenants and landlords, etc., are changing in response to the crisis. Will the changes be temporary, or might we hope for lasting change in the form of new and better ways of structuring these relationships?
Taurus, which Venus rules, also represents our values and relationship with the material world. Things like earnings, 401K plans, and our closets full of stuff. The Venus/Uranus alignment could therefore also shake us out of our comfort zones in these areas so we can open to a new way of looking at what it is we really want in life. Layoffs, the plunging stock market, and bare store shelves are jerking us out of our comfort zones. These things happened suddenly, signaling that the process is Uranian. The shock, fear, and pain are very real. At the same time, we are awakening to new priorities. Disrupted daily routines open up time for creative projects. Physical separation drives us to find new ways to connect. Solitude reminds us to cherish and nurture our relationships. For many, the closet full of work clothes has become a strange neglected place. Our attention focuses instead on our stores of soap and toilet paper. We remember that modern life would not be possible without such things as reliable means of production, supply chains, and sanitation infrastructure, as well as fellow human beings working to make those things work. The new cycle marked by the Venus/Uranus conjunction has started with a massive recalibration of what material things are necessary and important to our well-being.