November 7, 2011



Want to guess what you'll feel when you reach into Neptune’s box? Actually, it won't be a box; it will be a pool. You'll feel two things: water, and maybe dazed and confused. There may also be a bit of chill if there’s a spirit around. We’ll get to that.

Neptune is the planet of intangibles, of things that can’t be grasped in the hand. I usually refer to him as the planet of illusion, delusion, deception, and confusion. He encourages us to see things that aren't there, and to not see things that are.He dissolves, pacifies, neutralizes and hypnotizes that with which he comes into contact. He is the rose color of our glasses.

Neptune is the ruler of Pisces, and the 12th house is his natural domain. Where Jupiter types tend to follow traditional or orthodox religions (unless challenged by Uranus), Neptune types usually describe themselves as spiritual. They sense that all living things are connected by a collective unconscious where each of us are merely drops in a sea of karma. Many Neptunians have such strong attunement to something otherworldly that they devote their entire lives, one way or another, consciously or not, to serving in abbeys, convents, monasteries, cathedrals, ashrams, asylums, laboratories, hospitals, hospices, prisons, orphanages, shelters, cults, and other places of devotion, solitude, isolation, exile, confinement or charity. The 14th Dalai Lama has Neptune conjunct his moon (in Virgo, sign of service) in the 12th house, Neptune's domain. Neptune rules his 6th house of service, and the moon rules his midheaven, the height of achievement, honor and recognition.

His friend and devotee, Richard Gere, has Neptune conjunct Venus in Libra in the 11th, and Venus is the final dispositor, the gatekeeper through which all the other planets must pass inspection before proceeding. Most actors hate to be typecast, but in Gere's case, in real life, he is the embodiment of the knight-in-shining armor roles that made him famous. Venus idealizes love, and in Libra, it probably believes in soul mates, although, because he is well-educated, well-traveled, and well-seasoned, the term soul mate may not mean to him what it means to us. Venus with Neptune searches for a higher love. Pluto searches for a deeper one. Libra, for one equal to him.

An astrologer I know who was working on his thesis in psychology told me of a young man incarcerated in an asylum who had all of his personal planets in Pisces in the 12th house. He'd been found naked, chained to his bed, and capable of saying only five words: Don’t let the boy out, because it was all he had ever heard.

In Neptune’s box are a host of ways we can hide away in seclusion and keep ourselves there: Leukemia, hypochondria, agoraphobia, Alzheimer’s, amnesia, mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, hallucinations, cataracts, loss of hearing, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and the common cold. Dreams, illusions, memories, and fantasies can hold us prisoner for life.

Neptune is the planet that represents the collective unconscious, our personal conscience, and selfless identity. He has the patience and empathy for caregiving, and often a tendency to either ill health or hypochondria. It’s hard to know which, when he blurs all the lines. His compassionate sympathy for the universe and all the suffering in it sometimes gives him martyr tendencies. The life of Christ is a prime example of Neptune and Pisces energy. Whether truth or parable, it is not by coincidence that the symbol of Christianity is the fish. Not by coincidence were He and His disciples fishers of men who cast their nets in the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on the water (Neptune = Master Over Waters). The life of Christ is the quintessence of the Age of Pisces. Neptune is the planet of our faith, clergy, and evangelists.

Beatle George Harrison, a Pisces, had Neptune in his 11th house of groups and associations, in Libra, the sign of partnerships. It ruled his 5th house of creativity and entertainment. He wrote the songs My Sweet Lord about Hinduism, andHere Comes the Sun (The Son) about Christianity.

Another popular musician of the 70’s was Cat Stevens, whose Neptune is conjunct the ascendant giving not only an ethereal sound to his music, but also to his appearance and demeanor. Neptune rules his 6th house of health, and in 1969, he contracted TB. During his illness, he began to question the meaning of life. He took up yoga, meditation, and the study of religion and metaphysics. He began to write songs about his insights, all of which are functions of Neptune.

His songs became highly successful. My personal favorite was Oh, Very Young, a poignant song about hindsight and the inevitable disillusionment of youth that embodied the spirit of the times. It was from an album called Buddha and the Chocolate Box. All Neptunian. Even this video of Wild World has a fuzzy, unfocused quality. 

 Regarding his songwriting, he said, "I get the tune, and then I just keep on singing the tune until the words come out from the tune. It's kind of a hypnotic state that you reach after a while when you keep on playing it where words just evolve from it." That’s about as clear as…Neptune.

Stevens studied Buddhism, Zen, the I Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology before choosing the Islamic faith in 1977. He changed his name again, this time to Yusuf Islam, and moved to the Middle East. In 2004 the world-renowned pacifist was denied entry into the U.S. as a security risk.
Neptune bestows glamour and illusion. He adds mystery and intrigue. In Marilyn Monroe’s chart, for instance, he was the rising planet, hovering near her ascendant, and ruling her 8th house of sex and death, which has remained a mystery and a conspiracy theory. Jackie O (Kennedy Onassis) had Neptune conjunct her midheaven. Princess Diana had Neptune in the 10th house of public reputation, ruling her 3rd house of transportation. Men are usually labeled as debonaire rather than glamorous, which describes the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated the throne for his duchess, Wallis Simpson. He had Neptune and Jupiter conjunct the midheaven. Jupiter ruled his 4th house of royal family; Neptune ruled his 7th house of marriage. North West has Neptune conjunct her Pisces midheaven and will no doubt live a glamorous and creative life (This blog was updated in 2016, after North was born).

Neptune is lord of photography, film and video. He can be highly deceptive. He is our muse, our inspiration. Many Neptune types are gifted with creativity and blessed with imagination. They are born storytellers. They excel in art, music, drama, fantasy, fiction and film. Leonardo DaVinci had Neptune conjunct the midheaven.  So does gifted lyricist and musician Jackson Browne. Neptune people who put their imagination to good use make great writers, songwriters, musicians, poets, novelists, actors, dancers, cinematographers, filmmakers, symphony conductors, performers, costume designers, shoemakers, perfumers, and magicians.
Many are gifted in another kind of vision, and are active in a world of spirit, intuition, extraordinary knowing, dowsing, metaphysics, hypnotists, mediums and ghost hunters. They are psychic sponges, soaking in the ethereal through osmosis, and somehow understanding it. Shirley MacLaine has Neptune conjunct her moon in the 12th house of the ethereal. Famous psychic Edgar Cayce had the sun, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and the moon's north node in Pisces, as well as Neptune conjunct the moon

Another spirit under Neptune’s rule is the kind that comes in bottles and baggies. The same Neptune that dissolves our egos, boundaries and the inhibitions which contribute to our addictions, is the same that compels others to serve in the occupations that attempt to cure them. Pharmacists, chemists, nurses, and  reiki masters benefit from the help of Neptune. 
When afflicted, Neptune types can create fantasies so real in their own imaginations that they play them out in reality. Richard "Night Stalker" Rameriz seems to have been influenced by his cousin, an enthusiastically violent Viet Nam vet who had been with Special Forces. He often bragged of torture and glorified killing. The cousin murdered his wife, who at the time, was standing close enough to Rameriz to splatter his face with her blood. Rameriz eventually played out his own fantasy rampage.

Pisces can be master liars, manipulators and deceivers, depending on the whole natal chart, of course. John Wayne Gacy became known as the "Killer Clown" due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades and children's parties where he would dress as "Pogo the Clown." He claimed to have entertained at hospitals, as well, but there is no proof of it. Still you can’t get much more Neptunian, short of adding a boat. Don’t believe everything you hear, and even less of what you see, when Neptune is involved.

Lord of personal melodrama, Neptune often casts himself in a martyr role. He thrives on sympathy. I’ve known two Pisces women who developed Munchausen by proxy. One of them, with many Pisces planets in and ruling her 7th house of marriage, faked bruises with eye shadow and claimed spousal abuse. Under Neptune's influence, she divorced her husband and abandoned her children for the man with whom she'd been having an affair. Many years later, after her lover still had not left his own wife, and the transit of Neptune had moved on, her idealization of love and her willingness to sacrifice everything for it faded, but not before Neptune dissolved away every single thing in her life.

Also under Neptune’s rule is all liquids, water and gas. From streams and creeks to raging rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, he reigns over all vaporous substances such as fog, precipitation, snow, dew and even frost. He rules all forms of liquid from drinking water to perfume to gasoline, and all natural gasses likepropane, methane and helium. This one might be especially important in the 2012 chart: oil, because a great deal of the world’s wealth hinges on oil. Neptune also influences sailors, sea captains, pirates, marine biologists, and everything that lives in the water. Shipping tycoon Aristotle Onasis had Neptune conjunct Jupiter in the 10th house of career and reputation in Cancer, the other water and shipping sign.
Terrorism on  12/21/12 could include an element of water in them: oil spills, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis. Also in Neptune’s domain are vast wide-open spaces like oceans, tundra, and outer space.
That’s quite a lot for one planet to look after. No wonder Neptune is so often dazed and confused.
In a natal chart the ascendant represents the physical body, outward personality, and the here and now.

In this chart, the Pisces ascendant and Neptune represent We the People.
Neptune influences the mood of the masses and current generation. It is the sign of our times. With Neptune representing us, we are confused, deluded, or deceived. We are not seeing things clearly, as they really are. Perhaps we are idealizing something. Neptune is the pedestal, the ivory tower, the Prince Charming.
With Big Blue shining right down onto us, we are intoxicated with him. As a whole, we fall under his spell. Either we are hypnotized and mesmerized or we are choosing not to see something, in the way that we choose not to see the elephant in the room. This is especially important in light of the 2012 election, the first in which the Supreme Court has made it legal for corporations and lobbyists to buy the presidency. This is especially important in light of the Aries Point Sun making a sextile to Neptune in this chart. We are extremely vulnerable and cannot seem to rise from our stupor to resist.
Rather than raining manna from heaven like a trine, sextiles show opportunities, and ease the way toward achieving the goal if effort is made.
The Aries Point sun rules the intercepted 6th house of the chart, that of Blue Collar Man. That house, and its opposite, the 12th, where Neptune resides, contain interceptions, so it will 1) be harder to work out, 2) take longer than expected, and 3) require more attention and focus.
He Who Has Minions will benefit from the sextile just as much as the Occupy Wall Street movement may benefit from it. Either way, leaders and opponents will emerge, and both will have the ability to sway the masses through the articulate communication and power of the media shown by the moon’s trine to Mercury.
Occupy Wall Street is an excellent example of the collective consciousness and spirit of our times. Masks, such as the Vendetta mask adopted to portray the collective ideal is an object under Neptune’s rule, and the ascendant of any chart is "the mask we wear" to protect ourselves in public. These two identity concealers, Neptune and the ascendant, are conjunct in the chart. These are the subtle, nearly imperceptible ways in which Neptune can manifest himself for us to see.
The Mayor of New York said he has tried to identify representatives among the protesters with whom he could negotiate — but the leaderless nature of the organization has made it impossible. With Neptune on the ascendant, there is no clear identity to be found. I am tempted to say that under the sextile to the sun that a leader will appear, and that s/he will define goals and get everyone on the same page, but the unfocused and illusive nature of the movement may be the secret to its longevity. Even the identity it presents to the world is a mask, however noble the idea behind it.

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof. ~ V in Vendetta

That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing. ~ Hermes Trismegistus
Technically, at this posting, November 2011, Neptune is in the dying throes of Aquarius—home to national health care and big institutions with secret agendas wanting to be our friends—and it will reach the anaretic degree in January 2012. Saturn (authority) will also be anaretic.
Anaretic is the 29th degree of a sign and where a planet is at its weakest. It’s tired, and a lame duck. But it's also the "Do something! " degree. It describes well the indecision of city government on what to do about the Occupations. As of this posting, Saturn (authority, leadership) is in Libra (diplomacy, partnership). Able to see both sides of an issue, city leaders wait for one more fact to emerge to tip the scales one way or the other. There is a continuous re-evaluation, more waiting, and avoidance of making any decision at all. No one wants to be the next Kent State. No one wants to be Oakland. The Constitution is on the side of The People, and Authority is stalling for time while they find a loophole that will absolve them of responsibility in a public relations disaster. There’s an election coming up—and this is the part I don’t get—they are as cautious as if our votes actually matter. Maybe the money doesn’t trickle down that far.
If you want to get to the bottom of anything, follow the money trail.
The power of planets in anaretic degrees—in this case Neptune (the 99%) and Saturn (authority)— to influence us is waning. Their thinking and ability to manifest becomes fuzzy and ineffectual, and like a dementia patient, their interactions become more vague and less decisive.
Saturn leaves diplomatic and indecisive Libra in October 2012, when he enters Scorpio and mutual reception with Pluto and Mars.
It makes me a little nervous that the many Occupations don’t have a clear leader because I’m afraid that unless one emerges soon that they could evaporate in the cold, and instead, He Who Has Minions will lead We the Sheeple like lambs to the slaughter.
Because Neptune is an outer planet that takes so long to complete a cycle around the sun (just short of 165 Earth years), he has a great effect over the masses and generations. The sign that he transits reveals the spirit of the times, what is cool, and what we focus on as a collective whole. For instance:
In the 1950’s Neptune was in Scorpio, and the entire generation began to focus on sex…we worshipped great Hollywood sex goddesses, bad boys, and the debut of Playboy magazine. Elvis the Pelvis became king. It was the generation that gave birth to the drug culture, conspiracy theories, and serial killers—all Scorpio matters.
In the late 60’s and 70’s when Neptune was about to enter Sagittarius, we began reaching out and expanding our world. We landed on the moon and became fascinated with the likelihood of extraterrestrial life. Star Trek, ET, Close Encounters, and Aliens were the biggest hits of the transit period. Religious cults sprang up, like those of The People’s Temple in Guyana, and Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. More people extended their education and obtained degrees than ever before.
In the mid 80’s when Neptune entered the Saturn-ruled sign of Capricorn, we sobered up and manned up. We elected the oldest president ever (for two terms, and liked him in spite of his interest in astrology). AIDS put the Big Chill on the era of free love and promiscuous sex. Television had a plethora of big hits with shows about fathers (Cosby, My Two Dads, Who’s the Boss? Married with Children), seniors (The Golden Girls), reality (The Real World), police dramas (NYPD Blue, Law & Order), night time soap operas about wealthy Republicans (Dallas, Knot’s Landing), and the hit movie Wall Street. Hippies were out and yuppies were in.
In the 90’s, when Neptune moved into Aquarius, we went techno. Nearly every household of First World countries acquired computers, cell phones, video games, digital cameras, vcrs, dvds, cds, mp3s, lcd / led tvs and on and on. The internet and social networking took over our lives. Indie films and indie bands stood a good chance because Aquarius is all about independence.
There is no one single thing that Neptune will do in Pisces on December 21, 2012. He has only begun the new journey. He doesn’t announce himself with authority, but flows through our lives like a river. He can use any of the things in his pool, all of the things, or any combination of them. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities, keeping in mind that the farther into Pisces he transits, the deeper we will fall into his trance. He will remain in Pisces through the year 2025.
We could become institutionalized in a broad variety of ways.
We could hide (if only our heads in the sand).
Something catastrophic could happen by then to cause us to become more compassionate, sympathetic, and caring about our fellow man.

It is said that astrologers "missed" predicting the events of 9/11, and in the same way we might "miss" something else. It’s not as if the transits on any given day wave flags at us. We don’t see these things unless we go looking for them, and most of the astrologers I know are too busy working with their client’s charts, their own, and their families’ charts, and living their lives just as non-astrologers do. Finding a catastrophic event is like searching for a needle in a haystack. A chart would need to be cast and studied for every major area in the world, for every hour of every day between now and then. So something could happen, including geographic events, terrorism on a scale that makes 9/11 look like child’s play, world-wide famine, or the appearance of aliens, asteroids, or God-only-knows-what. I’m not saying that something will happen, only that the compassion and spiritual values of Neptune in Pisces will be a widespread "sign of the times." Use your own common sense to imagine what could trigger it, and if you have interesting ideas, please share them in the comments.
The dissolution of the ego
Tsunamis of emotion
The possibility of a widespread, out of control illness and dementia.
Precipitation, snow, storms and flooding in record amounts.
Ocean exploration, oil spills, things under water, and matters pertaining to fish, marine life, ships and submarines, and renewed interest in Atlantis.
A strong Neptune is able to "feel" ahead, and intuits solutions to problems before they are discovered. Things long hidden come to light.
A new spiritual leader may rise or return. A large percentage of the human population may embrace higher spiritual ideals, or feel the need to become martyrs. Spirituality will outpace organized religion. As Bonnie Raitt so eloquently said, "Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there."
The legalization again of medicinal marijuana. Medical breakthroughs and new drugs to treat or cure Alzheimer’s, leukemia, tuberculosis and the common cold. Over time, of course. Not all this year.
The arts will make a big comeback as Neptune transits deeper into Pisces. Rap will run its course. Music, art, drama, fiction, fantasy and film will become gentler, more ethereal, mystical, gossamer, and spiritual.
There will be a renewal of glamour, as people wish to escape their everyday realities. Beauty supplies, wigs, eyelashes, nails, costumes and shoes become even bigger fashion statements. Another trend may be toward simpler, Biblical lines and draping, or maybe toward fantasy inspired fairies and gypsies a laStevie Nicks.
Spirits in general may become more apparent —maybe someone will prove that psychic ability, spiritual realms, intuition, extraordinary knowing, dowsing, ghosts, life after death, or reincarnation really do exist.
Technology will not disappear, because the Age of Aquarius is only beginning to dawn, but people will become fed up with the rules and regulations that bind and confine us and will improve ways to escape, such as virtual reality. We may also become enamored with hypnosis, meditation, and yoga. We will search within ourselves in record droves.
Strong emphasis or significant events involving institutions, jails, and charities, and more compassion for those who suffer.
On the flip side, we will be susceptible to, and victims of trickery, fraud, disinformation, and mass confusion. Zombies are becoming very popular and under Neptune’s influence we may become somewhat zombie-like, living our lives as if we are sleepwalking, all of us under a spell or hypnotized.

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