Neptune in Pisces (2011-2026):
Beyond Thought, Beyond Beliefs, Freedom from all Illusions
(Published in the Sept 2011 edition of The Mountain Astrologer)
In recent years, we have watched powerful new ingresses of slow moving planets as they entered new signs. Pluto first moved into Capricorn, and then Uranus and Jupiter moved hand in hand into Aries’ fire of creation simultaneously opposing Saturn as it emerged into Libra. In the backdrop of this unique Cardinal configuration, an equally dramatic development is set in motion when Neptune progresses into its own sign of Pisces for an extended period of approximately 14 years. With a world already shaken by natural events and socioeconomic unrest, our yearning to transcend illusive schemes and aim for a direct perception of the Truth becomes not merely a quest for spiritual seekers, but a survival imperative for all. With Neptune moving into Pisces, humanity is possibly confronted with one of its most serious existential crises ever; and with the stakes so high, along with a paralyzing sense of insecurity, this transit renders us humble and disarmed as we stand unsheltered from the facts of the Truth.
Neptune’s first ingress occurred April 4, 2011 (at 9:51am, Washington, DC time), and lasts for a brief four-month period until August 5, 2011, and then the second and lasting ingress will occur February 3, 2012 (at 3:03pm, Washington, DC time), through January 26, 2026. It goes without saying that Neptune’s transition, along with the other slow moving planets, has created and will continue to create a fundamental change of climate in our lives, both personally and collectively. Navigating these strong currents is no small task, but as Pisces’ influence goes, the process can potentially clear the considerable accumulated clutter of our psyches and ultimately bring more simplicity and authenticity to our lives. The question arises: are we prepared to have all that we know washed away by this current as Neptune dissolves convictions and intellectual perceptions? The courage of not knowing is an unfamiliar dimension in an era where humanity’s value system and orientation is essentially mind oriented.
Let’s explore the fundamental meaning and evolutionary intent of Neptune’s passage through its own sign. It is important to approach this analysis with a neutral mind and understand that this influence will bring both potentially enlightening and challenging experiences. From an evolutionary astrological point of view, there is no advantage or disadvantage when a planet is in its own sign: positive results only occur if we assimilate the inherent lessons. We have free will to make the best or the worst of it.
Pisces represents everything in life that is beyond egocentric control—that which is not yet known; it represents the world we did not personally create but instead were simply born into. Since the dawn of our existence, we have searched for answers about where we come from and where we go, wondering how it all began, who is behind life, and what it is all for. Theories and scientific discoveries pile up, but clear answers remain elusive. Our existence is blessed with splendour and charged with challenges, but none of us were given a user manual upon arrival—we do our best to navigate the currents, learn some as we go, and slowly add pieces to the immense puzzle of life. However, as we become more conscious and knowledgeable, we perceive there are yet deeper layers to the mystery. Through Pisces what we discover is that we don’t know very much. In this context our diplomas and years of study serve one important goal: to acknowledge our ignorance. Such an acknowledgment is significant progress, evolutionarily speaking, because the common state of affairs is that most of us possess little knowledge and think of it as complete; accepting our limitations renders us humble and receptive.
The passage of Neptune into Pisces will naturally affect our existential experience on this planet—facing the unknown means that we will confront the limits of our science. Established notions will lose their credibility when completely unexpected occurrences and consequences mystify our minds: the thought of it is simultaneously magnificent and terrifying. We tend to associate unexpected events with Uranus and Aquarius, but Neptune and Pisces are the true masters of bewilderment. In the realm of Uranus, the unexpected results from the acceleration of processes and the creation of new paradigms, whereas with Neptune the unexpected means that life confronts us with new paradigms just when we thought we had it all figured out—when facing the unexpected, there aren’t any words in our vocabulary to allow us to compute the new phenomena. Our knowledge gives us control, so when we lack mental references to address something new surrendering is the only option—a Piscean gesture indeed.
The Voice of Nature
With Uranus and Aquarius, humans have the upper hand over life; we decode life’s mechanism and create civilization. With Neptune and Pisces, the balance of power changes and it is life that gets to direct the play, subjecting us to higher and untamed forces such as the forces of nature. Neptune in Pisces represents nature in its raw form before human intervention and includes the wild—the jungles and natural resources—as well as general Earth events. In other words, Neptune in Pisces captures all that we did not create but that was here upon our arrival; it includes all the forces of life and what existed before civilization. So with this 14-year transit, there is a calling for us to better harmonize with nature, but before such balance is restored Neptune in Pisces is bound to generate a collapse of nature’s foundation.
Looking back at earlier Neptune transits, we can observe that wherever Neptune travelled it induced a form of “bankruptcy” in the matters of that sign. For example, Neptune in Capricorn (1984-1998) brought the collapse of regimes and set the stage for the disintegration of society’s solidity (with consequences to this day), while Neptune in Aquarius (1998-2012) brought fundamental disillusionment about the development of industry and energy use to the point where once hailed industrial progress is now perceived as a monster bludgeoning the remains of our planet. Of course, the purpose of such a collapse is to align ourselves with something better—in Neptune’s terms, ‘better’ means something that is more in harmony with the natural elements.
Consequently, Neptune in Pisces is bound to induce a stronger wave of chaotic natural circumstances—indeed a bankruptcy of sorts. Water resources and oceans immediately come to mind. We do not need to understand astrology to know that we are facing a water crisis sometime in the near future and that our oceans are depleted by our sushi appetite and careless fishing practices. Moreover, excessive gold and other mineral excavations affect all the rivers of the world, as some consider gold to be one of the important water and stream purifiers. Spiritually, water represents the womb of our existence: this is where our life energy gestates. Tainted water or scarcity affects the quality of our overall life force, just as a baby born from a malnourished pregnancy is bound to experience a lack of optimal potency. I won’t get into the magnitude of problems that can arise from water crises on so many dimensions, but as it is with every predicament, whatever challenges we end up facing will stimulate creativity and growth. Likely, and hopefully, we will not wait for the Earth to become a desert of sand and ice before we learn how to more effectively manage water and nature.
The depletion of water, wildlife, and wilderness may generate new immune disorders. Neptune rules the immune system. Spiritually the immune system relates to our connection with life and our overall existential well-being; a weakened immune system on physical level reflects deep existential insecurities on a spiritual level. Neptune’s passage through the air sign of Aquarius generated a wide range of airborne viruses that threatened our immunity from SARS, to bird-flu, to the re-emergence of TB, and even swine flu. Will we have “tuna flu” with Neptune in Pisces? We can’t be exactly sure how this might manifest, but new and old forms of waterborne viruses (cholera?) are likely to (re)emerge. The reason the immune system is targeted is twofold: for one, the imbalance in nature and our lifestyle is clearly a weakening factor; thus restoring our immunity requires that we realign with a healthier lifestyle and environment, and for two, through these challenges our immune system is pressured to upgrade. Hence not only is there a need to restore balance, but also a requirement to refine our immunity in order to meet new standards—the evolution of the species depends on our ability to upgrade our immune system.
In a larger context, if ecological matters are not addressed adequately, the immunity of the planet is at risk under this transit—up to now, the Earth has been able to absorb and deal with human “experiments,” mistakes, and our “ogrish” consumption relatively well, but we must consider the risk that this may not always be so—the darkest scenario of the Earth’s immune system collapsing is a reality that would obviously be beyond anything we have ever encountered.
Oil, Gold, and the Earth Candy Store
Our already fractured relationship with nature is bound to also affect natural resources, including oil of course. Oil became a greater “foe” during the passage of Uranus in Pisces (and Neptune in Aquarius) because during this time the threat of global warming and the need to foster cleaner energy production emerged into our consciousness. (Uranus pushes for sophistication and upgrade while Pisces directed that toward the use of crude resources.) Chiron made its first step into Pisces on April 20, 2010, inflicting the Deep Horizon Well oil spill wound and further pushing the anti-oil agenda. Accordingly, Neptune in Pisces is likely to dramatically alter the oil reality and create new circumstances, possibly bringing the discovery of new crude resources or more harmonious management ways to answer our need for cleaner energy production.
During the last passage of Neptune in Pisces (1848-1862), the first commercial oil well was drilled and kerosene was successfully distilled from petroleum, stimulating a worldwide demand for oil as a fuel. Moreover, the great California gold-rush began in 1848, right along with Neptune’s ingress into Pisces—the Earth was our “candy store” and it generated wealth. Today, a single cycle of Neptune forward, we find out that the “store” is depleted because of our excessive consumption.
Speaking of a gold rush, melting ice is creating new sea routes in the Arctic Ocean, allowing ships to bypass their long journey around the continents. Additionally, as the ice melts, new virgin environments are being exposed that are likely full of exploitable oil and gas, which the four countries bordering the Arctic, namely the USA, Canada, Russia, and Norway, recognize as a serious asset. Neptune in Pisces represents virgin environments and crude resources, so it is likely to precipitate an Arctic “gold-rush”; yet it is clear that without eco-conscious regulations, the commercialization of the North Pole environment will be the final blow for the local species already fighting the effects of thinning and disappearing ice.
These crises, reflecting nature’s bankruptcy, will create the necessary shock to our consciousness so that the human race internalizes that it has no choice but to harmonize with nature if it wants to survive. This is beyond tree-hugging romanticism and it does not mean that industry must stop—we are not meant to go back to the Stone Age to lead healthy lives. The key is to change mentalities so that industry and nature work together. Possibly, in the long run, we will find solutions for alternative sources of energy beyond physical form. Already, the virtual reality of the cyber world allows us to use “non-natural” resources and give nature a break from resource consumption: sending an email instead of mailing a letter saves us paper and freight gas. Neptune in Pisces can help us transcend the material realm and develop the capacity to tap into more subtle dimensions where energy is not necessarily produced from matter—this is, of course, a very open field, quite virgin at this point.
The Might of Oneness
Because Neptune and Pisces represent the higher forces of creation that came before human intervention, they essentially represent the origin of all things: the “womb of God.” Through Neptune and Pisces we recognize that despite our individual differences we all share the same original identity and are unified by common traits, needs, and goals. All living entities on the planet breathe the same air, walk the same earth, and receive the same light from the sun. We all yearn for love, search for happiness, and dread pain. Pisces and Neptune represent the collective conscious and unconscious—that which conditions us all beyond the fragments of time and space. When all boundaries between us dissolve, the reality of ‘one’ affects and touches everyone. The collective conscious and unconscious is a net that connects us all. For example, when Uranus was conjunct Neptune in Capricorn in 1993, the internet was launched. Today, as a result, we experience ourselves as a much more unified organism (Neptune) because the advances in computer technology (Uranus) allowed us to transcend country borders, as well as racial, age, and gender differences (Neptune). Neptune and Pisces represent oneness, beyond individuality.
Through the passage of Neptune in Pisces, the concept of oneness as a collective identity is a frontal theme, for better or worse. The world will continue to grow smaller as differences further dissolve, distances narrow, and our homogeneity is reinforced. This process will begin with smaller distinctions dissipating and then more significant ones following, possibly fostering interspecies affiliation. Humans, animals, and vegetation may be perceived as part of the same family, all sharing consciousness. Thus new levels of communication between different species may increase; we can expect breakthroughs in further understanding the animal psyche and its role in the overall balance of the Earth’s ecosystem.
Power to the People
Neptune’s influence also makes the themes of whatever sign it transits more accessible to the masses; this can take the form of a sharp drop in cost that makes a product less expensive or even free. For example, when Neptune was in Aquarius technology became more available to the masses and the price of computers dropped considerably. Similarly, airfare became more affordable allowing the masses easier access to air travel (Aquarius), this at the cost of many airlines dropping out of the competition because of bankruptcy.
In a typically Neptunian fashion, the way for airline companies to survive the new demand and market reality was to relinquish their individuality and merge into larger organisms. With Neptune in Pisces, perhaps a more cost effective way of desalinating the ocean will be discovered, providing fresh water for the masses. Along those lines, many new services will be offered cheaply or even for free—Neptune in Aquarius offered us a wide array of knowledge and information via the internet for minimal or no cost. With Neptune in Pisces, perhaps the expense of healthcare or fossil fuel will truly drop. Overall, Neptune’s transit through Pisces is a time for the poor—it truly embraces the slogan “power to the people.”
Collective unrest and the dissolution of existing paradigms can bring people together in a spontaneous and unorganized way. Larger threats unify us, just like large-scale catastrophes awaken tremendous compassion and bring strangers together to unconditionally help one another. Existential problems shared by large numbers are magnets between people, fostering the creation of new cells that grow and gain momentum—Neptune in Pisces may, indeed, bring people together because of an external menace. In the long run, this is the way new structures are created from below (the people) instead of from above (the government). Neptune in Pisces is a womb whereby new forms gradually morph from “spontaneous” dynamics and eventually develop into fully established organisms that later define society and existence. In the midst of chaos and turmoil, new life is in the making. These new emergences can manifest as innovative social movements, ideologies, or resource management techniques, among other new paradigms. At first, such an effervescence of new life usually lacks consistency and needs to pass survival tests—from many new paradigms, only the strongest are eventually integrated. Overall, there is a strong element of anarchy in this dynamic because these spontaneous emergences aren’t yet regulated—it is grassroots activity gradually gaining momentum.
Accordingly, Neptune in Pisces has a strong dissolving quality—ideas, political stances, or seemingly unyielding structures will be relinquished and “liquefied” to the point of disintegration. It is hard to know specifically what will actually dissolve, but surely this dynamic will be significant enough to reshape the landscape of our reality. Neptune in Pisces has a purifying effect and washes away what does not hold substance anymore, despite the tightest grip that attempts to maintain the status quo. It is a force of nature that overrides human mind control and all forms of resistance—the result like a dam breaking or tsunami wave. Possible occurrences include faulty policies being relinquished, leaders stepping down, or border restrictions being lifted; it is a time when stubbornness or intransigence subsides. For example, we may see the rigid defiance intrinsic to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dissolve, among others. The chart of Israel ((May 14, 1948, 4pm, Tel Aviv, Israel—from The Book of World Horoscopes) has natal Neptune in the 12th house, which resonates directly with the themes of Neptune in Pisces.
Spiritual Bankruptcy and True Divinity
As humanity undergoes such a ride on the untamed currents of life, spirituality is another theme that may bounce between extremes—from messianic movements to complete atheism and everything in between. When we are confronted with larger occurrences and circumstances beyond personal control, and when so many established references dissolve, existential questions naturally increase. Back in the earlier Neptune in Pisces cycle, China experienced the Taiping Rebellion—a Christian messianic movement that attempted large-scale proselytism, generating a full blown civil war that led to devastating consequences with over 20 million casualties. Doomsday prophecies are already on the menu for Neptune’s ingress into Pisces with the 2012 Mayan Calendar brouhaha. Because a collective need for change is strongly felt, individual projections and associations about life’s destiny and meaning sprout from everywhere, sweeping those who yearn for answers. Neptune in Pisces can breed escapism, so the thought of the world ending or a new flood of biblical proportions can strangely be more seducing than ever. “Let’s get out of here,” says Neptune. “Enough of time and space!”
On this note, God may also go bankrupt during this passage, or at least our idea of it, because Neptune in Pisces is about a true spiritual awakening—it has everything to do with revealing the naked Truth, unbiased by wishful thinking and human manipulation. Gaining such clarity depends on adopting a neutral approach to spirituality so that one’s perception is as free as possible from mind projections. Until then, many existing religious institutions and spiritual movements will be put to the test. Initially, because of existential insecurity and collective unrest, many may seek refuge in religion or other spiritual systems. Reinforcing one’s religious commitment may reflect a need to appease “God’s wrath” when humanity is confronted with afflictions. However, such focus on spiritual matters will only amplify the testing of established notions and expose falsity and illusions where they exist. Uranus in Pisces brought the gay movement to the doors of churches and synagogues. Neptune in Pisces may actually take the church down completely, unless it regains its original meaning and purpose of serving as a house of God, without superfluous attitudes, narrow dogmas, or other human-induced spiritual fabrications. Sharia laws and other archaic spiritual references belonging to any religious institution may face strong objections coming from the masses. This is not necessarily about making religious institutions more liberal (as Uranus would), but more about restoring the original purity of intention whereby spirituality (and religion in this context) inspires humans to harmonize with life. In this process, anti-religion or even anti-God movements may manifest as a reaction to existing disillusionment; ultimately, the purpose of Neptune in Pisces is to bring something more authentic and closer to the higher Truth.
Conclusion–The Calling of the Great Beyond
Confronting our ego and mind with the unknown, Neptune in Pisces is likely to awaken a truly adventurous spirit—it is a calling to transcend boundaries, let go of security, and explore the “open seas” of life. For some, this can manifest literally and stimulate a desire to live more on the edge in a free-spirited way without much attachment to matter, routine, or obligation. Responding to the urgency and calling to redefine our relationship with nature, many will be inspired to reconnect with their own animal instinct and authentic nature, stripped of modern artifices and attitudes, and want to go back to the wild. For others, it will be more about delving into their unrecognized potential by fostering different forms of psychic exploration. For example, ideas contemplated in movies such as Inception (lucid dreaming) or Avatar (psychic bonding) may gain greater momentum in actual reality. We can expect that more research will be conducted on the force of the unconscious, dreams, and divine intervention. This transit can open new doors that will allow us to experience life in completely new ways—by all means, Neptune in Pisces is about delving into the no-frontier zone.
Thus although we face the potential to get (seriously) lost and trapped in chaos, this influence is bound to ultimately reveal new wonders and dimensions of life in ways that will completely recondition our perceptions of existence. Truly, so much to dream about!
Chart 1 – Warren Buffett (August 30, 1930, at 3pm, Omaha, NE Rodden Rating: A)
Chart 2 – Bill Gates (October 28, 1955, 10pm, Seattle, WA Rodden Rating: A).
© 2010 Maurice Fernandez – all rights reserved
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