A simple example would be the experience of space as a real 3-d box within which everything happens. If you think about it, 3-d space is just a way in which the brain builds relationships between the objects it experiences. It is not literally there, it is just a story. It is a story which, to us, is real.
Neptune is leaving Aquarius, the sign on a collective level of Science and Democracy. And what do we find? In America, the home (as they see it) of Democracy, the system is ceasing to work. In July and August, at a time of financial crisis, the government was paralysed by partisan dispute, and as a result America for the first time had its credit rating reduced. In Europe, another proudly democratic continent facing a financial crisis, the collective government is also paralysed, not this time by partisanship, but by a system that was a product of political idealism that got carried away with itself. The system that is working and that is on the rise, and which is anything but democratic, is Chinese totalitarian government.
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Only yesterday on BBC News there was an article entitled ‘Dark matter theory may be wrong’. A few days ago there was an article in which the idea of supersymmetry was brought into doubt. In both cases the doubt came as a result of experimental evidence. These theories have become fundamental to the way science sees the universe at the galactic and quantum levels respectively. Science has been stuck for some decades now in trying to develop theories, backed up by evidence, as to how the universe works when faced with the extremely large and extremely small.
I have always doubted the existence of dark matter. You could say Dark Matter is a projection onto the universe of our own ignorance: there’s lots of it – 96% of the universe – and it’s impossible to detect. It’s a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
As Neptune leaves Aquarius, so it seems to me is the dream of Science as in principle able to explain everything, fading. I, for one, am delighted!
There is a difference between ignorance and not knowing. Not knowing is a wonderful place to be: the Universe opens up as a ‘Great Mystery’, and wisdom flows from it. Socrates claimed to be the wisest man in Athens because he knew he didn’t know. In the West, we have become addicted to certainty, whether through the claims of Christianity, or latterly through Science and political ideologies. And this is ignorance, which comes from the word ignore, suggesting something wilful: it’s obvious when you think about it that there’s very little, if anything, that we really know. But we don’t think about this, we feel about it, and it feels uncomfortable and insecure. So we ignore it, we choose to be ignorant. Ignorance is thinking you know.
So this is where Neptune is starting to take us as he enters Pisces: into the place of not knowing which, for humanity as a collective beast, is a very uncomfortable place to be. I think this is why the prophecies around 2012 are so popular: they provide a sense of certainty and even hope in a world which is increasingly uncertain, and in which we are rapidly destroying the environment and resources we need in order to have a future.
All the big ideas of the 20th century are failing: communism and democracy as political absolutes, scientific knowledge as metaphysical underpinning, the inevitability of economic progress. Neptune in Pisces is underscoring this. The Great Recession, which seems about to double-dip, and the rise of China, have given the West a tremendous blow to its self-confidence, and this has not fully played through yet by a long chalk. We are still hoping that things will go back to what they were.
So Neptune in his own sign of Pisces is tremendously powerful. It is a cauldron of the Imagination. His Ingress into Pisces represents the old certainties failing, and that creates much collective anxiety. We can inevitably expect a retreat into right-wing governments and fundamentalist religions as a response, for now, to that anxiety and insecurity (as well as into millenarian, 2012-type prophecies.) And that is described by the Uranus-Pluto square which is occurring concurrently: the empowerment (Pluto) of radicalism (Uranus), whether of a left or right wing variety. Uranus is an archaic god, and can describe a collective retreat into primitive, less conscious forms at times of insecurity: look at the rise of Fascist regimes under the last Uranus-Pluto square in the 20s/30s.
There is an issue of survival which has not filtered through to the collective yet, blinded as we are by advertising and politicians. The survival issue is of course based around environmental degradation and the profligate consumption of limited resources. Perhaps the larger a collective is, the stupider it gets. Any intelligent individual can see the danger, but what can they do? Preach to the converted? Any ‘primitive’ tribe would have acted by now.
But all the while Neptune will be in Pisces, a subterranean collective re-dreaming on the part of what is now a global tribe. Uranus-Pluto will come to an end in 4-5 years, but Neptune will remain in Pisces for a further 9-10 years. The party will be continuing, but not with the old certainties: they will be in Neptune’s cauldron.
Interestingly, Neptune’s passage through a sign, 14 years, is about the same time as Saturn takes to complete half a cycle round the Sun. Saturn is the opposite of Neptune, he is the planet of manifestation. When he is opposite himself – opposite where he was when Neptune entered that sign – then there is a strong impulse to manifest. In this way Saturn brings Neptune’s dreams into reality, makes his visions grow corn.
Uranus-Pluto is not just about the shift in the world balance of power. Its influence will be felt at many levels, locally as well as globally. And the empowerment of Uranian radicalism, which is so central to the meaning of this transit, will feed into the re-dreaming of Neptune in Pisces, in the progressive sense of Uranus. Pluto is about survival, and while one response to the current crisis will be a retreat into right wing governments and fundamentalism, another will be a growing awareness of the real threat to our survival.
So there is this other, more hopeful, side to Uranus-Pluto which is kind of inevitable, because Pluto is there to ensure our survival. He is the life-force. You put that together with Neptune in Pisces, and you can see a growing current in the collective, determined that we should survive (Pluto), open to radical solutions (Uranus) and quietly dreaming the sort of world in which this is possible (Neptune.) As I said earlier, there are no certainties, and if we do build a slightly saner world, there is no knowing at this stage what form it will take. But if the outer planets teach us anything, it is that there are powers beyond us, creative depths to nature that in our hubris we overlook. The present situation is certainly an outcome of hubris, and you cannot avoid the eventual cost of that; but the outer planets, nature itself, has a way of surviving, and humanity is part of nature.
We are not just another species, we are a new development, and maybe we won’t last, or maybe most of us will be wiped out, only to repeat the same mistakes, as in Battlestar Galactica, some millennia down the line.
The chart for Neptune’s first entry into Pisces, on 3/4 April 2011 (depending where you live) is quite remarkable, for it has 6 planets, including a New Moon, in Aries.
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It sends a strong message that out of the collective re-dreaming, the search for new ideas/mythologies, of the next 14 years, something very, very new will be born. As if to underscore this point, the Ingress chart for Neptune into Aries in 2025 also takes place under a New Moon in Aries. Spooky!
I want to be fanciful for a moment, but I have talked about Neptune in Pisces in terms of the Dreamtime, which is an Australian aboriginal idea. And Uluru, or Ayers Rock has come for us westerners to most symbolise that dreamtime. So what was happening at Uluru when Neptune entered Pisces?
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As you can see, the Ascendant was at the midpoint of Pluto and the North Node, both of which were within 5 degrees of the Ascendant. This suggests the power (Pluto) and significance (Node) of the idea of Neptune in Pisces as humanity's Dreamtime.