The Neptunian Undertow

Posted on May 26, 2020
Posted by Grace Ironwood

The astrology of the pandemic is complex, and there are many forces in play. Among other things, the situation is manifesting in a very Neptunian way. In a previous article I described what I called the Neptunian Wave, a phenomenon marked by calls for compassion and the dissolving of many rules. Now emerging from the fog is another more sobering manifestation of Neptune’s power as it makes its long journey through Pisces, the sign that it rules. I call it the Neptunian Undertow. It takes the form of widespread confusion and disturbing themes of sacrifice–two more phenomena that are Neptunian in nature.


The situation with masks illustrates both of these things. At first, public health authorities insisted that masks were not recommended for the general public. Then they reversed course and began urging people to wear masks. Some jurisdictions imposed rules requiring people to wear masks. Some businesses have done the same. The rules are inconsistent and do not always seem to make sense; that is to say, they are confusing. Are masks required or just recommended? Indoors? Outdoors? All the time? Only when visiting “essential businesses?” Only when unable to social distance? Employees only? Customers too? All employees or just those who meet the public? Who can keep track?


There also is widespread confusion about the reason why masks are recommended. A segment of the population refuses to wear them, seemingly in the belief that only people who are afraid of being infected need to do this. In fact, masks function to protect others from being infected. The person who says, “I’m healthy, I don’t need to wear a mask, you can’t make me!” has missed the point. They could be infected without symptoms. Masks have been shown to significantly reduce the chance that such a person will infect others. Numerous studies suggest that COVID-19 transmission could be halted if 80% of people wear a mask in public.[1]


Imagine that! One simple step might have spared us from the worst of the devastating shutdowns, to say nothing of much suffering, death, and bereavement. Instead we have had a pervasive lack of clarity and resolve on this issue, and are paying the price.


Another dynamic has infiltrated itself into the mix. Some who believe that they personally have little to fear are calling for those who are “vulnerable” to stay isolated so the “non-vulnerable” can return to business as usual with no restrictions. Setting aside the confusion over who is truly “vulnerable,” it seems like these people realize that the point of wearing a mask is to protect others. They just don’t want to be bothered to do it.


What is happening here? Sacrifice is what is happening. Namely, demands by one group that another group to make the enormous sacrifice of confining themselves indefinitely or risking their health each time they venture out, so that the first group will not have to make the very small sacrifice of wearing a mask. Thus, the elderly widower who lives alone is marked for sacrifice when the person who stands behind him in line at the grocery store refuses to wear a mask. As is the family of the the young and healthy cashier who lives with his diabetic father and asthmatic sibling (unless he chooses to sacrifice his job to safeguard their health).


Masks are said to be co-ruled by Saturn and Neptune.[2] In this pandemic, wearing a mask serves a Saturnian function by establishing a boundary and a Neptunian function by recognizing the needs of others. This should be simple. Instead it has become a muddled, controversial mess. Too many people are confused about this issue, or bent on sacrificing others, or in the group marked for sacrifice. All are caught in the Neptunian Undertow.


[1] Jeremy Howard, The science of masks is simple, and I’m one of 100 experts
urging governors to require public mask-wearing
, at accessed May 25, 2020.


[2] Rex Bills, The Rulership Book, at 85.

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