Neptune, the Planet of Dreams & Aspirations, Goes Home to Pisces

March 4th, 2011-August 5th, 2011 and then February 3rd, 2012-January 26th, 2026

On April 4th, Neptune, the planet that symbolizes dreams and aspirations entered its home sign of Pisces. Here is will remain until August 5th before backtracking into Aquarius. But this is just a foretaste of its subsequent 24 year journey through that sign starting on February 3rd 2012! When the slower moving outer planets change signs it always heralds a change in the zeitgeist or the ‘sprit of the times’. You may recall that at the entry of Pluto into Capricorn back in 2009, the economic structure of the world began to shift and wobble as the necessary process of fundamental change began. A shift that is far from over! Since Uranus has begun its journey through Aries proper in March, we have been witnessing monumental upheavals and resistance to dictatorial governments all over the world but especially in the Middle East. Skeptics can pooh-pooh astrology all they want to but Aries is the sign of the individual and Uranus stands for rebellion against the status quo and this transit is graphically illustrated by the sudden unexpected uprisings and courageous demonstrations by ordinary people through that region!

So what about Neptune in Pisces? It may be helpful to remind ourselves what this planet represents. In an individual horoscope it symbolizes our aspirations and hopes. It shows the ‘why and how’ we take a break from mundane reality and reach for the stars. It is linked to spirituality and service, meditation and seclusion, the creative impulse within us and best of all our compassion and unconditional love for our fellow sentient beings. Of course there always has to be a balance and Neptune also rules addiction, whether to alcohol or anything else, the blind adherence to doctrine, even when proved to be destructive or flawed and the refusal to take responsibility for ones own actions and ultimately life. Illusion and disillusion always put in an appearance when there is a refusal to acknowledge reality!

Neputne's last transit through Pisces 1848-1862

On a mundane or ‘worldly’ level, Neptune is also linked to spiritual matters but it is worth noting that the last time that it transited through Pisces, two important documents were published that created immense controversy around religion and spirituality and still resonate today. In 1848, the year Neptune entered Pisces Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto and in 1859 Charles Darwin published the Origin of the Species. Both of these publications undermined the unquestioning adherence to religious doctrine that had been the norm. While Communism has virtually disappeared as a global influence, the battle between science and spirituality is, if anything getting more intense. We could see this argument grow and mutate over the years of this Neptune transit!

Neptune rules water, the sea and fluids in general. It is pretty clear that our oceans are in trouble everywhere – from over-fishing, pollution and pirates. Not only that but while in the developed world we have the luxury of buying expensive bottle water even though we have it on tap, in other parts of the world it is in short supply. I expect there to be a concerted effort during the coming two decades to clean up and treasure this precious resource. At least I hope so.

Both oil and its products, especially plastic, are ruled by Neptune. Unsurprisingly, the first commercial oil well was sunk in 1853 and the forerunner of modern plastic was invented in 1855, both when Neptune last transited Pisces. We are all aware of the problems linked to our dependence on oil and as it becomes more scarce due to environmental and political issues around the world it will also become crystal clear that we must seriously seek alternatives to this seductive product. Neptune in its home sign Pisces, where it was at the start of our love affair with oil, indicates that we have come full circle. It is time for science, politics and big business to unite in seeking ways to keep us mobile and warm not to mention supplied with everything that currently contains oil in some form – and that means a lot of stuff, from sneakers to CD’s, from hairspray to glue!

Neptune transiting Pisces isn’t all negative though and we can expect some important innovations during this time. Neptune’s link to film and photography may indicate new and exciting techniques brought to our notice. Neptune and scandal also go hand in hand and these days there are a multitude of magazines and websites dedicated to showing up the rich and famous. Maybe we will lose our appetite for this kind of thing preferring to focus on their talent instead.

Neptune is the ruler of drugs and anesthetics - in fact although Crawford Williamson Long, one of the pioneers of the use of ether as an anesthetic, had been experimenting for a few years, he didn’t publish his findings until 1849. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if during this Neptune transit someone could discover new and less problematic ways to anesthetize patients undergoing surgery and also to control pain?

Neptune and spirituality are true companions and I fully expect to see an upswing in the interest and exploration of the mysterious and unexplained. Religion, spirituality, clairvoyance, psychic experience, chakra work, crystals, tarot and astrology will all be under the microscope with those for and against squaring up to each other. While science and spirituality seem to be sworn enemies right now, I believe that by the end of this period we will find that they are much closer together than currently appears.

My greatest hope is that despite all the problems facing us over the coming decades, we as a species embrace what is at the heart of Neptune at home in Pisces: true unbiased compassion. After all when we pare our time on this earth down to basics there really are only two things that matter: love and fear. If collectively we can strengthen and increase the former we will effortlessly banish the latter and ensure that a great many problems that seemed insurmountable in 2011 will be almost forgotten in 2026!