Neptune has been in Pisces since March 2012. It has come into its zenith degrees and will remain within them through 2019 and 2020. Zenith is of both a mathematical and energetic significance. Each sign of the zodiac has 30 degrees. Half way through the sign would be 15 degrees. Imagine that 0 degrees of a sign is like the sunrise and 29 degrees like sunset of the qualities of that sign. That being the case, then, analogously half way through would be like high noon, and a planet in that sign at such a degree would be at zenith. Many who interpret astrology consider the zenith degrees of 14-18 to convey a particular intensity, just as the sun does in the middle of its course through the day. By the way, Jupiter will be at zenith degrees Sagittarius all of this summer (see Part 5). Please take note if you have similar degree planets in your horoscope.
Neptune began 2019 at 14°♓︎ and is currently at 16°. Neptune begins to slow in April, being at 17°♓︎ for the month, then it stations at 18°♓︎ for three and half months: May, June, July, and half of August. It slowly starts retrograde motion on July 1. Then, Neptune is at 16° is for eight weeks: the end of September, all of October, and into November. December 1st, at 15°, Neptune goes direct and stays so until July 1, 2020 at 20° 57′♓︎. It retrogrades to 18°, then turns direct at the end of November. The US presidential election will be under a retrograde and stationed Neptune.
Neptune is the modern exoteric ruler of Pisces. When only visible planets ruled the signs, Jupiter ruled Pisces. There is an ease and resonance between the planet and sign with rulership; in fact, they share qualities and attributes. We found similar with Saturn which rules Capricorn and Jupiter ruling Sagittarius. The Master DK has suggested that the full range of a planet’s energies and abilities requires a level of consciousness appropriate to the vibrational qualities sought. Without adequate, lived awareness only the lesser vibrations of a planet’s range can permeate the person, humanity as a whole, or the Earth. For example, to live the wisdom that Venus embodies and brings with her higher expression requires the person to have quietened the temptress tendencies within oneself. Venus is not the cause of temptation and desire, a person’s unrefined desire nature is. Similarly with all of the planets. One of the challenges in writing about or interpreting Neptune (or Pluto for that matter) is this subjective criteria of spiritual evolution. One witnesses humanity’s collective point on the Path in:
- the human desire for having and keeping (possessions, one another, ideologies, and set frames of identity),
- the human tendency to separate and identify through separateness (nations, families, male/female/trans, animal/vegetable/human, divided belief systems, good and bad, and so forth)
- the human capacity to kill (one another for any stated reason, animals for food, forests or ecosystems for personal/corporate temporary gain but long-term loss for all of life, etc.)
- the human orientation toward gossip, personal drama, self-importance, clinging to the past, and projections onto others of one’s ideas or preferences.
At essence, however, human beings are “basic goodness.” We are good-hearted and know that virtue and kindness, respect and collaboration are more fruitful than fighting. Yet, war, aggression, borders and walls, occupations, starvation, human slavery and trafficking, and abject lives are experienced by millions, possibly billions, of people everyday. In America, maybe your country too, plastic bags are still used at grocery stores. Those that bring recyclable bags are in the minority. Those that don’t, don’t see a problem. The examples listed are not given as or with judgement but rather as a kind of barometric pressure reading of where humanity is at in its consciousness collectively. This is important when interpreting Neptune in Pisces, just as it was for Pluto in Capricorn. The difference afforded Pluto came from it not being alone through the zodiac in the cycle highlighted in these articles. Saturn and Jupiter joined Pluto in its sandbox through this year and next.
Areas of focus for common Neptune are: emotions and feelings, confusion and doubt, addictions or the desire to numb one’s self and then getting trapped. With addictions, neither that which one is trying to numb or avoid nor the mechanism for doing so (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, etc.) work or serve. Instead, the mechanism becomes a bigger problem or an additional and significant one which creates more problems.
Neptune on the common level also inspires, is the kindness within you and me and is so easy to live from and to give. Neptune is the source of the sense of beauty. Venus, the goddess of beauty, was born from the sea. Neptune, then, is the deep, inner longing for beauty, harmony, for things to feel pleasant, good, or to be easy. Because of this intrinsic feeling or sense, Neptune also is the personal experience of disappointment, malaise, of depression and sadness, of loss or of futility. One can hear the hopelessness that Neptune can bring. Essentially, Neptune is highlighting that human beings are easily deceived: tricked by alcohol, drugs, or the adrenaline of gaming; hoodwinked by love especially when one is wearing Neptune’s rosy colored glasses; deceived by the ideals that we hold because ideals are always abstract and incapable of being made manifest in the purity of their idealized state. As some spiritual traditions state, we are deceived from the beginning as long as we are not aware of and living from truth of Being. Everything else is not quite true or is blatantly false.
Like the other outer planets astrologically, Neptune interacts with the uniqueness and specifics of one’s self, circumstances, and relationships. This uniqueness is witnessed in beauty itself: that it is in the eye of the beholder as well as the artistic creator, inventor, or lover. Specificity will illustrate in transits as well: the specific planet(s) being transited, the level(s) of consciousness and awareness that one lives life from, and if the transit is combined, exaggerated by, or fostered through other transits at the same time. In that case, step back and try to grok the bigger picture. Transformation is upon you. What is being illumined? What is being sought by your higher nature? Since the personality can either get with the program or complain (which won’t improve anything), one might as well align with the higher resonance of Neptune while allowing it to wash away and purify that which it is trying to.
“Cling to nothing,” is a useful phrase to repeat to one’s self during a Neptune or Pluto transit. Neptune is ocean. Nothing can thwart the ocean. Neptune is the waters of desire, the waters of consciousness, of our dream states, of the un- and subconscious, and is the waters of Life. The greater waters bring grace, blessing, beneficence, goodness, ease, comfort, truth, and they cleanse or purify. Any or all of these could be Neptune’s benediction during a transit or might soak into us during the transit. If the latter, then in the months and short year or so after a significant Neptune or Pluto transit, integration and life will expose how much was going on.
Moving up the scale of vibration and of awareness, Neptune represents compassion, empathy, empathetic response, thus sensitivity, openness, rawness, and the inescapable character of vulnerability as a human being. Each of these is a whole set of emotions, feelings, sensations, hopes, wishes, and particular intensities; yet each also express the spectrum of “basic goodness” that a human being is. Because of this intuitive, resonating basic goodness, we feel for others. Because of this intuitive, inner knowing of the heart, we also know that we are constantly at risk of loss displayed through death, sickness, of not being met with friendship or love or help when wanted or needed, or of being tossed on the winds of life and left destitute and alone. Neptune is trust and distrust, conviction and betrayal, surrendering into or merging and abandonment. Each factor in each polarity stands on its own in the human experience. For example, one might be trusting by nature, have never felt abandoned or experienced it, and consistently surrender in order to merge with the greater essence that is emerging. But, lesser/personality based and middle: Soul encouraging or Soul expressing Neptune, supply these qualities to the human psyche.
The rawness of compassion and empathy, moment by moment, brings home the truth of vulnerability which, if one is living from the heart and awareness, brings forward the daring of action. Because there is no guarantee of anything, because we are vulnerable every moment, then the wisest response to life is compassion, kindness, equanimity, and to live declaring to one’s self how rare and precious each moment, person, plate of food, or running clean water is. In recognizing these attributes of inner being and Neptune, the hardness of personal ego begins to dissolve and the goodness that is human basis is revealed as unquestionable, beyond doubt, and more powerful than all the control mechanisms by which one tried to control life and its inherent insecurity.
“What is Neptune?,” I asked Duane Carpenter once thirty years ago outside the Theosophical Society in Boston. He mused for a moment and replied, “Neptune is buddhi.” Buddhi is one of the accessible yet sublime qualities of Neptune that a person or humanity can engage. Yes, point on Path is helpful just as with the vibrationally refined attributes described in the paragraphs above. But, basic goodness exists in each person because each person is essentially buddhi. This truth, this mystery, and this expression of pure being is what we are and what this level of Neptune is offering.
Buddhi is unwordable unto itself, but one’s experience or experiences of and within buddhi can poetically be offered, artistically rendered, or one can sit in the silent luminous expanse of pure perception and its unspeakable inter-being with others. As one does, the idea of “others” disappears as a designation; inter-being, full relatedness remains. Luminous and dynamic awareness takes on a constant radiance and transparency. Nothing is only as it seems, and yet everything is fully what it seems. “Emptiness and form” is buddhically factual. Concepts have faded in the light. Then, highest Neptune offers even more than this. Highest Neptune evinces monad, buddha nature, universal primordial Being. But, we need not go there. Words and concepts can’t anyway.
Neptune transiting your chart
- mundane: No matter what planet or point (like ASC) Neptune is transiting, on a personal turn of consciousness these experiences are likely: confusion, sadness, melancholy or depression, being scapegoated, betrayed, or feeling at a loss or actual loss. In any case, the emotion and personal response is a gateway if one chooses. In general, people move quickly through and rapidly away from emotions, even happy ones. We don’t want to feel sad or bored or hurt or alone, so we distract ourselves very quickly from such emotions. But, doing so disallows actually feeling the feeling. Emotions are intense, emotions are dynamic, and emotions are an experience of our vulnerability. Neptune will hold one in a small range of emotions for a protracted time specifically so that one has no choice but to experience the emotion. The reason for this is because a) we don’t usually allow this, and b) great wisdom lies underneath the immediacy of an emotion.
- On the same turn of the spiral, Neptune will provide inspiration, beauty or harmony will call strongly, relationships will want to deepen and life become more meaningful. You will feel teary at small things like kindness, the joy of a child, the kiss of the sky at sunset, or at the tragedy of the human condition. This transit is offering an opening, a softening, an honesty with one’s self. A deeper strength lies within and within this process. Give in, let go, and open to more of yourself. That more will be “named” by the natal planet or point being transited.
- spiritual/esoteric: The planet or point being transited represents a power, or quality, or capacity of the Soul that you are and that you are capable of manifesting. Neptune’s transit will try to dissolve or erode the personal habits and preferences that keep you expressing the comfortable range of yourself that you do. Neptune is facilitating a stretch into and growing more facile as the higher being that you are. Go with it, flow with it, grow.
- evolutionary/hierarchical: For humanity, Neptune moving through Pisces provides us myriad opportunities to lay aside old Piscean ways of living and doing. Humanity seems to accept death by war and greed, disease by human-made causes such as toxic wastes, pollution, tobacco, to name a few. Humanity appears to condone bigotry, hatred and violence, and the struggle of life. Yes, prayers and flowers pour out when a New Zealand mosque (or two) are the scene of death and destruction but, not only will that fade from Facebook pages but also from the news in short order. And, the same outpouring does not come forth for every bombing in Iraq or Pakistan. That Monsanto actually exists, that gun lobbies do, or that private companies are making money on prisons, border encampments, or continued war strategies indicates that Pisces – the martyr, the prisoner, the occupied, the abandoned, the betrayed, the scapegoat – is still being lived on a low turn of the spiral of collective consciousness. Neptune will do its best to hold humanity’s eyes to the mirror of the world it has created and chosen and its nose in its own shit. Things don’t have to be like this, but only we who create and foster this collective behavior can change it.
- Individually, Neptune transiting is offering wakefulness through empathy and sensitivity. If you are a sensitive human being, you get a gold star for your forehead. Sensitivity is a marker of spiritual evolution. It speaks of an open or opening heart. Sensitivity will often be accompanied by some type of intuition, psychic awareness, or inner knowings. These are Neptune dissolving the barriers to fuller perception. As Neptune transits your chart, again, soften, open, surrender. Discover the greatest strength and force in the universe: compassion. Then, live from it. Allow differences and divisions in your mind to be undone. Like the great whales in the ocean, be free and give freedom to others.