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This is an excerpt from a longer article that can be found on my website here.
By its very nature, Neptune is difficult to talk about. It tends to be evasive and dreamy, and full of imagination and artistic creativity. It also can become lost in the illusion of fantasy and encourage sacrifice of the individual self, sometimes for a higher purpose and sometimes in a codependent loss of Self. In its highest form Neptune inspires us to transcend the material world and connect deeply and directly with an experience of the Divine.
Before Neptune was discovered, Pisces was ruled by Jupiter. Jupiter, being one of the personal planets, operates on the worldly plane where Neptune, a transpersonal planet of transformation, inspires us to go beyond this world. Where Neptune governs the direct experience of transcendence, Jupiter presides over the more intellectual construction of what gives life meaning. Jupiter therefore is more concerned with religion and theology where Neptune deals with matters of spiritual experience. Both planets also have a hand in popular culture. Neptune is found in areas of artistry and entertainment, where Jupiter is more involved with the actual media through which entertainment is delivered to the masses.
With Neptune moving into Pisces, there is the potential for tremendous spiritual transformation, but also mass delusion such as has never been seen before. The last time Neptune entered Pisces was in February 1848, shortly after its discovery in 1845. 1848 is the year that the gold rush began in California, leading one reporter to complain that everyone in the state was under the spell of gold fever. This kind of fever, or mass hysteria, is emblematic of Neptune in Pisces.
The transit of Neptune in Pisces this time around once again (as it did in 1848-1852) coincides with a strong aspect between Uranus and Pluto that inspires revolution and radical change and the destruction of the status quo. The Neptunian influence can cast a spell of delusion over the fever for revolution, or it can inspire us to greater love and compassion for all of humanity.
As we move from the age of Pisces into the age of Aquarius, humans are waking up out of their sleep of delusion that religious dogma has cast over the world during the past 2000 years of Piscean mystery. Aquarius is more concerned with the rights of the individual, although it can be brutal in its efforts to accomplish social equality as we have seen throughout history in events such as the French Revolution.
As we stand at the doorway of the Age of Aquarius, this passage of Neptune in Pisces represents a completion of sorts – a final test of our ability to rise above the urge to lose ourselves in unconscious urges and escapist behavior and instead achieve a higher level of conscious awareness in the elevation of our ideals and dreams.
Neptune wants to inspire us to transcend ordinary reality, and its ideal expression is to seek this transcendence through a connection with the divine. This is the source of the creative fire, as we channel any type of creative output through our more limited conscious experience. As Neptune travels through Pisces we have an opportunity to more easily stretch ourselves beyond the limits of our intuition and conscious awareness. Our capacity for compassion for the suffering can grow and our hearts can open. If we ground ourselves in a spiritual practice we will be able to take advantage of the opening flower of divine wisdom that will be available to us, especially during the period in which Chiron is also in Pisces.
With Uranus squaring Pluto over the next four years, revolution and radical changes in the global landscape will be a major part of our experience. Neptune in Pisces can inspire us to either escape from the difficult intensity into new heights of avoidance, or to seek the higher path of elevated consciousness that can help us to create real change and transformation. Neptune in Pisces offers opportunities for unparalleled creativity and imagination which can combine with the powerful Uranian influence for invention in ways that can create amazing things for the world of the future.
The symbol for Pisces is two fish swimming in opposite directions. Pisces is said to be the sign of the saint and the sinner, the priest and the addict. It is our choice, as it always is, whether we will take the easy road of sleep and unconsciousness, or remain awake and utilize the powerful energy of change that is coming.