Neptune In Pisces (2011-2025)
To the Romans Neptune was the god of freshwater and sea. To the Greeks he was Poseidon, god of the sea, earthquakes and horses. In astronomy, Neptune is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in our Solar System. The third most massive planet, and the densest ‘ice giant’, Neptune is 17 times the mass of earth.
In the astrological language, as the god of the seas, Neptune represents the profound, mysterious, and awesome power of water (emotion), and the ineffable/fantastic/hallucinatory states that strong emotions can provoke in our individual, and collective, experiences. As an expansive giant, astrological Neptune represents encompassing, complete, immersive sensations and instincts. It shows us the places where our experience must expand into the unknown. It teaches us how to submit to faith when all else is lost. It pushes us into the places where we must submit, succumb, release.
Neptune is the modern ruler of the sign Pisces. In this embodiment Neptune is the actor who performs Piscean need. Like all signs in the zodiac, Pisces is a sign that influences each person, not just someone born with Pisces sun. It’s needs are to transcend the physical experience; to release ego; to merge with the infinite; to discover divinity within and without. The gift and the struggle for Pisces is that it knows no boundaries. As a gift, this energy delivers insight through meetings with what we can’t articulate. Dreams, visions, and fantasies speak to us from beyond, spurring our creativity, faith, and capacity for understanding, acceptance, compassion, and deep, unrelenting love.
As a struggle, Neptune (and Pisces) show us the places where we lose our own agency, where we get sapped, depleted, taken for granted, and abused. These are the energies that get us hooked, addicted, and dependant; on other people, on our own egos, on our favorite substances, and with our favorite possessions. Once we’re hooked, we will experience perpetual loss. We’ll fear the end, we’ll clutch and grab. We’ll do everything we can to stay together. And eventually, inevitably, we’ll find ourselves alone and empty. These two are the great teachers of illusion and impermanence. Everything you are and love will someday change and die. To known this as anything less than the ultimate completeness which is spiritual law, is to suffer for it.
Neptune’s orbit is just over 165 years, which gives it 13-14 years in each sign. Due to the length of its orbit, Neptune transits should be understood as generational influences. As with all the outer planets, Neptune’s influence can be seen through the waves of culture shifting, and ideologies and trends which arise cyclically with its influence through the zodiacal wheel. As the ruler of Pisces, Neptune’s current transit through Pisces (2011-2025) magnifies the themes of both. Neptunian/Piscean themes are, most basically, the flux between states of illusion and disillusion. We can expect that the era of Neptune in Pisces will be marked by heightened experiences and sensations that cause us to question our realities and whatever identities we attach to.
During its last transit through Pisces from 1847-1862, Neptune is associated to the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe in countries like Germany, Italy, Hungary, Ireland and Serbia, which were seeking independence for their nations, and inspired by an idealized past (Pisces and Neptune both idealize, or fantasize.) During this era, the world experienced the rise of socialism and the birth of the welfare state (Pisces in specific represents altruism and sensitivity to humanity’s suffering and need.) The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848, The Origin of the Species in 1859. Slavery in America was “abolished.” In general, sentiments at this time pivoted around strong social movements, unification, and populism.
Now returning to Pisces, this era revisits the themes. Nationalist, socialist, and populist ideals are once again surging across the political globe. Multiple governments and countries are swaying towards leadership espousing notions of perfect societies–rooted in nostalgia and resistance to change. Neptunian/Piscean places such as prisons and hospitals are being reformed and expanded. Neptunian/Piscean substances abound–opioids, alcohol, and weed are everywhere. Reality is becoming increasingly unclear as we recognize that media is deeply biased, and buying into it is no less an illusion than anything else. Meanwhile, augmented, virtual realities continue to slowly seep into our everyday.
Now nearly halfway through its transit, we still have another seven years to go. Given that astrology simply describes sensation (morals are a human invention), we can assume that we will continue to experience the full spectrum of Neptune in Pisces. Sorry to say for the bliss bunnies who are convinced that spiritual ascension is nigh, though that might be true in many ways, there is always balance. Our human brains simply cannot grasp the enormity of the place we live. Any ideals of our own greatness will always be met with our own demise. The only way we’ll truly learn our spiritual capacity is through the cold, hard reality of what it means to lose all that we love. Through suffering comes transcendence. Remember Einstein’s words, “As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness around it.”
As we stand in the threshold of the Age of Aquarius, Neptune’s passage through Pisces suggests a completion. Here we can choose to rise above our unconscious urges and escapism. We can face our addictions and dependencies. We can decide to see how we grasp onto those/that in order to maintain our own identities, and in so doing become the annihilation of our true intent. In the recognition there is the potential for conscious elevation. But elevation only comes through releasing what keeps us fearful, alone, and insecure.